Richard J. Pratt saved Lorine R. Sweeney and Paul R. Weskamp from drowning, Fargo, North Dakota, June 29, 1963. A motorboat capsized at a dam in the Red River of the North, throwing Lorine, 5, Paul, 9, four other children, and two men into deep water containing whirlpools and irregular currents. One man and one boy were drowned, the other man towed a girl to rocks at the bank, to which another boy also swam, and another girl clung to the overturned boat perched atop the dam. Lorine and Paul, neither of whom could swim, were submerged briefly several times and then floated face down as they were swept away from the dam. Pratt, 31, printing salesman, ran 300 feet to the bank, removed his shoes, and dived into the water. He swam a 125 feet, crossing a whirlpool with difficulty, and reached Lorine 75 feet from the opposite bank in water 15 feet deep. Pratt towed her 25 feet diagonally across the current, which then carried Paul to him. He lifted Paul’s head above water and pushed him toward the bank. Retaining his hold on Lorine, Pratt then swam to Paul. The current forced Pratt, towing Lorine and pushing Paul, to swim 150 feet before he reached the bank greatly fatigued. Lorine and Paul recovered. Police and firemen rescued the girl clinging to the boat.
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