Rudie A. Burnaman saved Eddie L. and Aliesha D. Thompson from drowning, Cypress, Louisiana, May 7, 1991. Eddie, 2, and Aliesha, 3, were inside an automobile when it went down an embankment and submerged in the Old River. Their mother screamed for help, attracting the attention of Burnaman, 40, pile driver foreman, who was on the opposite bank. Burnaman entered the river and waded and swam to the car, then submerged and maneuvered part way into it. As there was no visibility in the murky water, Burnaman groped to search for the children. He found Eddie, grasped him, then maneuvered backward from the car with him. Burnaman surfaced and took Eddie to the bank, then returned to the car for Aliesha. He submerged again and entered the car a second time. Finding Aliesha, Burnaman removed her from the car and took her to the bank. Both children were unconscious, and Burnaman revived them. They required hospitalization, and they recovered.
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