Rex Lee Applegate, 16, schoolboy, saved Joanne M. Gallagher, 8, from drowning, Pacifica, California, July 22, 1965. While wading in surf in the Pacific Ocean, Joanne was knocked down by a wave and carried away from shore by a strong undercurrent. Applegate waded and swam to Joanne, who was 125 feet from shore in water eight feet deep between waves three to four feet high. Talking to calm her, Applegate secured a hold on Joanne and attempted to tow her but could make no headway. Joanne then grasped Applegate around the waist with both hands. He pushed her away, secured another hold on her, and with effort began towing her shoreward. Progress was slow against the current, and he had difficulty in holding Joanne at the surface. Winded and tiring rapidly, Applegate towed Joanne to 50 feet from the beach. He motioned for someone to come to his aid, but no one did so. Applegate’s feet then touched bottom between waves and, holding Joanne, he proceeded to bounce to within 30 feet of shore. Breathing heavily and fatigued, he dragged Joanne, who by then was inert, to 10 feet from the beach. A wave then swept Joanne from his grasp and carried her to shore. Applegate stumbled to the beach. Firemen administered oxygen to Joanne, who revived and recovered.
48456 – 517648456-5176