Robert H. Schlensker saved Scott D. Addams from drowning, Rockford, Illinois, August 30, 1961. Scott, 8, fell into a well and landed in water 15 feet deep 60 feet below ground level, where the well was two feet in diameter. He found footing on the rim of a steel casing two feet beneath the surface and held to a pipe in the center of the well. His cries attracted his mother, who summoned firemen and others. A rope was lowered to Scott, but he could not keep a firm hold on it. Several men entered the well, but they were too large to descend more than a few feet. Schlensker, 30, carpenter, a man of slight build, volunteered to try to reach Scott and was lowered into the well in a rope sling. His passage was impeded by roots which protruded between the stones which lined the walls, and several times he became wedged. In squirming free he sustained cuts on his back and feet. Thirty-five feet below the top the well narrowed to two feet and slanted downward at a slight angle. At the turn some of the stones were loosely embedded. Making his way carefully lest the stones become dislodged and cause a cave-in, Schlensker squirmed past sections where the roots decreased the diameter to 18 inches and reached Scott. He wrapped his legs around Scott’s waist and grasped him by the wrists. As they slowly were lifted together by men pulling on the rope, Schlensker several times became stuck temporarily and had some difficulty breathing. His arms became fatigued, and as soon as he reached a place wide enough near the top he raised Scott over his head so that others could lift him out. Schlensker was nearly exhausted but recovered.
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