Robyn S. Boggs saved Sarah J. Planakis from being struck by a motorboat, Stafford, Virginia, August 17, 2003. Using floatable seat cushions, Sarah, 11, and her aunt, Boggs, 45, bartender, were floating and swimming in the Potomac River about 2,000 feet from the nearer bank while other family members were water skiing from an 18-foot motorboat in the vicinity. As the boat headed toward Sarah and Boggs, it made an abrupt turn and proceeded directly toward Sarah. Boggs, who was about 12 feet away from Sarah, immediately swam to her. She pounced on Sarah and submerged her but was then struck by the boat herself. The boat’s propeller caught her along her left side, inflicting cuts from shoulder to knee and almost severing her arm. Boggs then became caught in the boat’s ski tether and was dragged a short distance before the tether broke. The operator of the boat took the craft to a stop, and Sarah, uninjured, swam to it. Other family members entered the water to aid Boggs, who was eventually returned to the bank by boat. She was flown to a hospital, where she was detained for treatment of severe injuries, including the loss of her arm, which left her disabled.
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