Roger Alan Scalf saved Bernardo N. Gonzalez from drowning, Galveston, Texas, February 23, 2001. Bernardo, 17, entered the cold, rough waters of the Gulf of Mexico from a point on the beach near a rock jetty. He encountered difficulty against the current and lost consciousness. A friend of his flagged down Scalf, 38, firefighter, who was driving a fire truck past the scene. Scalf radioed for help, then responded to the jetty, from which he saw Bernardo floating face down about 150 feet from shore. Removing his boots, Scalf climbed down from the jetty into the water and swam about 90 feet to Bernardo. When Scalf reached him, Bernardo showed no sign of life. Holding Bernardo, Scalf swam toward shore and in wadable water stood and started to pull Bernardo in. Other men waded into the water, relieved Scalf of Bernardo, then took him to the beach, where he was revived. Bernardo required hospitalization, and Scalf was cold and tired, but he recovered.
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Roger Alan Scalf, 44, of Texas City, Texas, died on June 24, 2007. He was born on Dec. 6, 1962, in Texas City to Jimmy and Marjorie Scalf.
Scalf was a Coast Guard licensed captain who had been a firefighter for the La Marque, Mt. Pleasant, and Galveston communities in Texas. He graduated from La Marque High School in 1981 and was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church of La Marque.
Scalf was recognized for a deed of heroism for saving the life of a boy in the Gulf of Mexico and received the Carnegie Medal from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
(Edited from the Galveston County Daily News, June 28, 2007.)