Robert A. Swalley died attempting to save Loreta E. Pearce from drowning, Newkirk, Oklahoma, June 12, 1931. While Miss Pearce, 18, held Swalley’s 7-year-old daughter by the hand and waded in a lake, she unexpectedly stepped into water eight feet deep 15 feet from the bank. Both were momentarily submerged. When they rose, the child was clinging to the neck of Miss Pearce, who could swim only a few feet. She trod water and held the child with one arm and called for help. Swalley, 32, insurance agency manager, who was fully clothed and was a very poor swimmer, waded from the bank, was submerged, rose facing Miss Pearce, and tried to support her. Swalley trod water, got behind Miss Pearce, who still held his daughter, and held her up with both of his hands. He was submerged, his hands only being at the surface. His wife swam a few strokes from wadable water to Miss Pearce and took her daughter but then was unable to swim. Swalley rose, and, supporting Miss Pearce with one hand, he took hold of his daughter with the other. He again went under the surface but continued to support Miss Pearce and the child until his wife, who pushed a boat close to them, lifted her daughter into the boat. Miss Pearce, who was dazed, took hold of the boat, but SwaIley’s hands disappeared. An hour later Swalley was removed from the water, but he could not be revived.
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