Russell J. Sell saved Mildred L. Poole from drowning, West Point Pleasant, New Jersey, August 29, 1935. Miss Poole, 23, entered the Inland Waterway and swam and drifted in a current of 4 m.p.h. to a point 80 feet from the bank, where the water was 12 feet deep. Becoming frightened, she called for help. Sell, 30, telephone service engineer, waded from the bank and then swam toward Miss Poole, wearing over his bathing trunks a long heavy beach robe, the belt of which he was unable to unfasten. He swam 100 feet with great exertion, the robe becoming entangled in his legs, and reached Miss Poole, who was semiconscious. He took hold of Miss Poole’s hair with one hand, and she grasped the front of his robe, and both dipped under the surface. Sell gave one or two jerks but failed to free himself. Releasing her hair, he placed his left arm across her chest and held her back close to his chest. He then swam at an angle across the current, his legs and Miss Poole’s becoming entangled in his robe. After swimming and drifting 150 feet, he was fatigued, tried to touch bottom 10 feet from the bank, and was briefly submerged. Swimming several strokes further, he got footing and in weakness crawled on his hands and knees, dragging Miss Poole. A man waded to Miss Poole, who then was unconscious, and took her to the bank. Sell crawled to the bank in an exhausted condition. After resting, he aided in reviving Miss Poole.
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