Robert T. van Ee helped to save Max Perel-Slater from drowning, Jenner, California, April 14, 1998. Max, 8, was playing on a Pacific Ocean beach in a state park when he was washed from shore by the surf and tossed about in the rough water. Walking on the beach nearby, van Ee, 45, disabled mechanic, and his son immediately responded. They ran into the area of breaking waves and strong backwash, van Ee’s son then grasping Max. As van Ee extended a hand to them, a wave broke over and separated them. Van Ee secured Max in the rough water by placing his body over Max’s and digging his feet into the sand to keep themselves from being washed out. His son grasped Max and, aided by others, removed him from the water. Then washed farther into the surf, van Ee did not have the strength to return to the beach. His son re-entered the rough water and removed him to safety. He was checked by paramedics, then taken to the hospital for treatment of having nearly drowned. Max also required hospital treatment for effects of his ordeal. Both recovered.
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