Thomas Alan Wallace helped to save Irwin Grossman from drowning, Whitethorn, California, June 27, 1971. When the aircraft in which he was a passenger crashed in the Pacific Ocean near shore, Grossman, 36, executive sales manager, sustained severe leg injuries but was able to get out of the plane. He clung to a piece of debris and was carried parallel to shore by the current. Wallace, 19, tree trimmer, witnessed the crash and noticed Grossman in the water. From a rocky ledge and in an area of treacherous currents, Wallace entered the surging water on a surfboard. He momentarily lost control of the board but then paddled in pursuit of Grossman, reaching him in deep water about 30 feet from shore. Rather than risk trying to land on the rocks, Wallace held Grossman to the surfboard until a boat reached them. Grossman recovered from his injuries.
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