Raymond Conrad Carman saved Shaun R. Crabtree from drowning, Clearlake, California, February 26, 1993. Shaun, 12, fell into Clear Lake and was being swept by a swift current toward the upstream face of Cache Creek Dam. All of the dam’s gates were open, as was one of two spillways. The force of the water through the submerged gates created a vortex in the water above each gate at the face of the dam. Carman, 49, the dam tender, was alerted to Shaun’s plight. He immediately launched a 14 foot boat that was at the scene and, using only the single oar available to him, guided the boat toward Shaun. Shaun, meanwhile, had been carried by the current to the dam, where he submerged briefly at the gate adjacent to the open spillway. He held to a metal rod affixed to the face of the dam. Carman positioned the boat over the vortex, then, holding to the boat with one hand, he grasped Shaun with the other and pulled him into the boat. Carman then pushed off the face of the dam with his hands and paddled against the current to take the boy away from the dam and back to the bank. Shaun required hospital treatment for hypothermia, and he recovered.
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