Robert E. Evans saved Zachary W. and helped to save Caleb W. Griffin from drowning, Jekyll Island, Georgia, July 5, 2001. Zachary, 13, and Caleb, 15, were with their father, another man, and that man’s teen-aged son on a sandbar that extended into the Atlantic Ocean when the rising tide stranded them in deep water. Apart from the others, Zachary and his father swam toward the beach but experienced difficulty in the tide, a strong current, and three-foot swells. Tiring, they called out for help. Bicycling near the beach, Evans, 34, caterer, saw the victims in the water and immediately responded. Discarding his shirt and shoes, Evans ran into the water, then swam out to Zachary and his father, who were about 600 feet from the beach. He took hold of Zachary and swam him to shore, Zachary’s father following. After obtaining a small flotation device, Evans re-entered the water and swam out to Caleb, reaching him also at a point about 600 feet from shore. Evans gave Caleb the flotation device, then remained with him for several minutes, until they were joined by a man with a small, inflatable raft. That man returned Caleb to shore while Evans remained to search for the other man in the victims’ party. Unable to locate him after several minutes, Evans returned to shore, tired. Although his son was rescued from the water, that man drowned; his body was found that night.
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