Randolph Sparks died attempting to save Darrelle N. Gauthier from suffocation, Yorktown, Virginia, September 5, 1996. While working in a below-deck holding tank at a naval station, Gauthier, 42, was overcome when liquid sewage began to enter the tank. He had shouted, attracting the attention of co-workers outside the tank, including Sparks, 33, maintenance worker. Sparks immediately began to descend into the tank by means of a ladder through its hatch, but he was overcome and fell into the effluent. Two other co-workers entered the tank in rescue attempts, but they too were overcome. Rescue workers removed all four men, but none of them could be revived. They had drowned.
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