Thomas L. Deno saved Janis M. Gass from drowning, Bremerton, Washington, October 21, 1963. Mrs. Gass, 30, was caught in a heavy wind and rainstorm while rowing a small dinghy toward a motorboat which she intended to bring ashore from its mooring in Hood Canal 240 feet from a beach. She lost control of the dinghy, which began to fill with water as it was whipped about in circles amid whitecapped waves two feet high and was carried past the anchored craft. Deno, 23, machinist, was on the beach and noted the plight of Mrs. Gass, who used one of her boots to bail water from the small boat. Fully clothed, including leather boots, Deno waded 30 feet into the cold water and then swam toward the motorboat. He proceeded with difficulty as his arms and legs became tired and began to grow numb. With much effort he reached the moored boat and clung to it to regain his wind before climbing aboard. Shaking with cold, Deno started the motor and took the boat, which contained several inches of water, 1,200 feet through the turbulent waves to the dinghy. Wind and rain continued undiminished. Deno held the small craft alongside while Mrs. Gass leaped into the motorboat, in which they returned 1,400 feet to the beach.
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