Ronald G. Lapensee helped to save Victor Chatelain, Fernand Robidoux, and Cecil O. Runions, and attempted to save Roland C. Larochelle from drowning, Cornwall, Ontario, March 2, 1964. While walking on ice on the St. Lawrence River, Chatelain, 32, and Robidoux, 36, separately broke through 90 and 100 feet from the bank into water 20 feet deep. They clung to the ice and called for help. Runions, 30, constable, and a police detective arrived. Followed by them and with all holding to a 50-foot rope, Lapensee, 26, laborer, walked diagonally from the bank to within 10 feet of Chatelain. He threw the end of the rope to Chatelain, and they pulled him from the water. Runions broke through and was submerged but by the rope drew himself to the surface briefly. Lapensee rolled to within 10 feet of Runions and held the rope taut while the latter drew himself back to the surface and clung to the ice. Finding he was unable to pull Runions out of the hole himself, Lapensee threw the end of the rope to the detective. The ice sagged as the two men pulled Runions out of the water. Runions crawled to the bank, where firemen, additional police, and others had arrived. The detective and Lapensee rolled on the ice to within 20 feet of Robidoux. Lapensee threw the end of the rope to Robidoux and with the aid of the detective drew him from the water. Robidoux got to his feet, released the rope, and again broke through the ice, which also began to give way under Lapensee and the detective. They quickly rolled onto safe ice. The detective returned to the bank as Larochelle, 37, fireman, and the fire captain started toward Robidoux by crawling along a ladder. Fifty feet from the bank the ladder broke through the ice and sank, throwing the two men into the water. A rope was thrown to the captain, and he was drawn to the bank. Lapensee moved to within 10 feet of Larochelle and lay on the ice. Larochelle threw one end of a rope he had with him to Lapensee, who was unable to pull him out of the water. The ice began to crack under Lapensee, and he rolled several feet farther away. Men on the bank threw another rope to him, and he then held to both ropes while lying in water atop the sagging ice. Despite efforts of Lapensee and the men on the bank, Larochelle lost his hold on the rope, sank, and drowned. Lapensee was drawn to the bank. By then a rowboat had been obtained, and Lapensee and two youths used it to reach Robidoux. They drew him into the boat, which was pulled back to the bank.
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