Ronald J. St. Mary saved Donald A. Thompson from drowning, Wilmington, New York, June 28, 1964. While swimming in the West Branch of the Ausable River, Thompson, 20, student, got into difficulty 85 feet from the bank. Despite efforts of his cousin who tried to aid him, Thompson floundered and was submerged briefly several times in water 15 feet deep. St. Mary, 30, barber, was attracted and ran 100 feet to the water’s edge, removing his shirt and shoes. St. Mary, who had a detached shoulder muscle, swam 100 feet diagonally across the current to where Thompson again had sunk. He dived to five feet beneath the surface and briefly grasped the ankle of Thompson, who was inert and sinking head first. Although greatly in need of air, St. Mary descended five feet farther, secured a hold on Thompson’s swimming trunks, and took him to the surface. Tiring rapidly as Thompson was heavier than he, St. Mary held Thompson’s head above water and towed him 40 feet toward the bank. An inflated inner tube was thrown to St. Mary, who used it to help support Thompson and towed him 20 feet farther to water five feet deep. Two men then aided them to the bank. Al- though he was nearly exhausted and was coughing from water he had swallowed, St. Mary applied artificial respiration to Thompson and revived him.
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