Roger Brian Nelson saved Sally J. Hammel from drowning, Bass Lake, California, August 4, 1966. While on a hike with Nelson, 19, schoolboy, and others, Sally, 12, lost her footing on the smooth rock bank of a small watercourse and began to slide toward the water. Nelson squatted and grasped Sally by one ankle. Both slid into the shallow water, and the swift current carried them toward a 10-foot waterfall below which there was a pool 15 feet in diameter with nearly vertical rock sides. Noting a jagged outcropping of rock at the edge of the watercourse, Nelson pushed Sally toward midstream. She cleared the rock, but Nelson was swept against it, sustaining spinal and muscular injuries. Sally was carried over the waterfall and submerged briefly in turbulent water at its base. Nelson, in great pain, went over the waterfall in a diving position, overshot the turbulence, and was submerged briefly in water 10 feet deep in the pool. He then called to Sally, who said she was caught in the backlash of the waterfall. Using his legs as little as possible because of the pain, Nelson swam four feet to behind Sally. He took hold of her and pulled her clear of the backlash. Sally aided by kicking her legs as Nelson, experiencing severe pain, pushed her ahead of him while swimming 10 feet to the only point at the side of the pool where exit was possible. Others aided them from the water. Sally was unharmed. Nelson was removed to a hospital for treatment of two fractured vertebrae and torn muscles. He recovered.
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