Richard A. Bates attempted to save Daniel J. Kelly and others from drowning, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, March 24, 1988. While swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, Kelly, 21, was caught in a very strong undertow and pulled seaward. He called for help. Two men from the beach entered the water and began to swim toward Kelly, but they too were caught in the undertow and encountered difficulty. Bates, 29, off-duty police officer, entered the water and swam toward the men, as did two other rescuers, one of whom was equipped with a surfboard. After ascertaining that the victims were safe, Bates then struggled against the current toward shore, quickly tiring and swallowing water. On the beach, he collapsed semi-conscious. He required overnight hospitalization for effects of the ordeal, and he recovered.
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