Salvatore F. Spinale, 32, patrolman, saved Steven M. Ashmanski, 8, from drowning, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, March 11, 1966. While walking on an ice-covered lake in a cemetery, Steven broke through 60 feet from the bank into water seven feet deep and then tried to climb out, but the ice broke off and enlarged the hole to three feet in diameter. Steven clung to the ice, while his 10-year-old brother reported the situation to persons in a nearby building. Police were notified. Spinale and another policeman went to the lake, where a number of persons had gathered but none was preparing to aid Steven. Spinale feared a delay to obtain rescue aids might prove fatal for Steven, who appeared near exhaustion. Undressing to his underwear, Spinale jumped onto the ice, breaking it. He sank into the mud bottom to his ankles. Breaking a path in the ice with his fists, Spinale swam to the hole and obtained a chinhold on Steven. Using his free arm at times for thrusting on the surface of the ice, Spinale began swimming back through the path he had made in the ice. The cold water and his exertions weakened him, but he persisted in his efforts and towed Steven 60 feet to the bank. After handing Steven to others, Spinale was aided out of the water.
48767 – 518648767-5186