Walter Hiter Dennis attempted to save Arthur G. Wright from drowning, Marblehead, Massachusetts, December 13, 1934. When a punt in which Dennis, 31, stationary fireman, and Wright, 60, carpenter, were riding sank in water 10 feet deep in Massachusetts Bay 210 feet from the shore, Wright, who was heavily clothed, swam 30 feet toward the shore. He then made feeble strokes, and his head dipped under the surface once or twice. It was dark, and the temperature was slightly below freezing. Dennis, who was heavily clothed, wearing a hunting coat weighted with shells and hip-length boots, swam 10 feet to Wright and took hold of his coat at the front. Unknown to Dennis his own foot was caught in a line to which were attached wooden decoy ducks weighing 12 pounds. Wright’s head momentarily dipped under the surface; and releasing Wright, Dennis swam 10 feet to an oar, returned to Wright, and placed the oar under Wright’s chin. Taking hold of Wright’s coat, Dennis with great effort swam toward the shore; but the oar drifted away. Wright became unconscious. Dennis at times swam on his back and on his side, swimming altogether 80 feet toward the shore and calling for help intermittently. A man waded from the shore and then swam 30 feet to Dennis and took hold of him. He towed Dennis, who continued to hold to Wright, about 40 feet. Dennis and the man then pulled Wright to the shore. Wright could not be revived.
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