Robert L. Riley saved Billy L. Gregory from drowning, Buckhorn, Kentucky, February 27, 1962. Billy, 12, a poor swimmer, fell into the floodwaters of Squabble Creek, where he was submerged briefly and then carried downstream by the current. He flailed wildly to stay afloat and called for help. Robert, 12, schoolboy, ran to the water’s edge farther downstream and jumped into the water fully clothed. He swam 15 feet to the normal creek channel, where the water was six feet deep and the current was the strongest. The current carried Billy, who had been submerged again briefly, to Robert. As Billy began to sink a third time, Robert took hold of him by his jacket. Robert was pulled under also and swallowed some water. Maintaining his hold on Billy, who then was inert, Robert returned to the surface and grasped a drifting tree limb. He lifted Billy’s head above water and obtained a firmer hold on him as they were carried downstream. Robert then released the limb and towed Billy five feet toward the bank, moving out of the current over the creek channel. Winded and tired, he towed Billy through a flooded marsh area, where the latter’s feet became entangled in weeds. As he forcibly freed Billy, Robert’s head dipped beneath the surface, and he swallowed more water. By the time he had towed Billy a total of 17 feet to within three feet of the bank, Robert was fatigued. Two other boys waded into the water and aided them to the bank. Billy was revived and recovered.
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