Thurman W. Tullis, 46, carpenter, helped to save Deborah L. and Sue Ann Travis, 6 and 7, respectively, from drowning, Galveston, Texas, April 4, 1965. While frolicking in the surf in the Gulf of Mexico, Deborah and Sue Ann were caught by an undertow and carried in deep water to opposite the end of a pier 450 fifty feet from shore. Tullis was among persons at the end of the pier. Removing only his shoes, he stepped onto irregular rocks forming the sloping side of the pier and dived into the water. He swam to 55 feet from the pier, where Deborah then was floating just beneath the surface, while Sue Ann was treading water five feet away. Tullis drew Deborah to the surface and swam to Sue Ann. Holding one girl in each arm, he swam 30 feet toward the pier with much effort by kicking his feet. Tullis then suffered a heart attack, releasing Sue Ann but continuing to support Deborah. 0. Dale Brewer entered the water from the pier and, thinking that Tullis could take care of Deborah, swam to Sue Ann. He towed her a 185 feet shoreward to wadable water, from where her mother took her to the beach. Meanwhile Tullis had lost consciousness but still held Deborah as both floated at the surface. Brewer swam toward them. A youth jumped from the pier into the water and had towed Tullis and Deborah 15 feet by the time Brewer arrived. Brewer and the youth towed Tullis and Deborah to the rocks, but they could not secure holds because of the countercurrents around the pier. Brewer extended his hand, which was grasped by a man lying on the rocks with another man holding him. Brewer handed Deborah to the man, who passed her to others on the pier and then drew Brewer from the water. Brewer pulled Tullis from the water with the aid of the youth, who also was drawn onto the rocks. Tullis was hospitalized. He suffered damage to his heart, limiting physical activity.
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