Richard W. Courson saved Diana G. Mason and other children from drowning, Brinkhaven, Ohio, May 19, 1969. When a footbridge over the flooded Mohican River gave way, Diana, 11, and other children were thrown into the water. Diana clung to the bridge wreckage, but others were carried downstream by the swift current to two separate points 10 feet from a partially flooded island. Some of the children climbed onto an accumulation of driftwood while others clung to partially submerged bushes. Richard, 16, high school student, and a 19 year-old youth ran to the river bank and, although swept downstream some distance while doing so, swam to the island 100 feet away. From there they waded to the clump of bushes and removed some of the children. When Diana lost her hold on the bridge and was carried downstream, Richard swam 20 feet, intercepted her, and towed her to the island despite the current. He and the other youth, who had removed the rest of the children from the clump of bushes, then sought to get the other children but found the current in the 10-foot channel between the driftwood and the island too swift to cross unaided. They noted that a floating limb had become positioned against a tree on the edge of the island and also against a partially submerged tree around which the driftwood had collected. The other youth held the limb in place while Richard, holding to it, waded to the driftwood and back, each time bringing one of the children. All waited on the island until a boat arrived and removed them to the bank.
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