Ronald A. Drakeford helped to save John E. Noonan from drowning, Daytona Beach, Florida, June 10, 1970. While swimming in surf in the Atlantic Ocean, Noonan, 54, insurance adjuster, was submerged and slammed against the ocean floor. He sustained two broken ribs but surfaced and called for help. Drakeford, 18, college student, entered the water and swam through breakers generally three feet high to Noonan, who was in water 15 feet deep 400 feet from shore. By then another young man had swum to Noonan and obtained a hold across his chest. Together Drakeford and the other young man towed Noonan 350 feet. Both young men were tiring as, then in wadable water, they moved Noonan to within 30 feet of shore. Lifeguards met them and took Noonan to the beach. He recovered.
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