Warren P. Masten saved Ivan M. Jacobs from drowning, Moss Landing, California, January 17, 1965. Masten, 28, teacher, and Robert Keene Douglas were digging clams in the Pacific ocean on a submerged bar 250 feet from shore when Clyde P. Klaumann attempted to swim to the bar. He was caught by a strong tidal current moving parallel to shore and called for help in water eight feet deep. Breakers were four feet high. Masten and Douglas entered the cold water, each wearing a rubber suit. Thirty feet from the bar Masten reached Jacobs, 53, electrical worker, who also had been caught in the current. Jacobs asked Masten for help. Masten extended his hand to Jacobs, who was wearing cutoff trousers and had a clam fork and knapsack. As Jacobs seized Masten’s hand, a breaker submerged them briefly. Douglas reached Klaumann. After Klaumarm’s clam fork and knapsack had been discarded, Douglas alternately pushed and supported him while aiding him shoreward. Although they drifted so that their total course was 625 feet, Douglas moved Klaumann to the beach. They sought help for Masten and Jacobs, who meanwhile had been carried past the bar and then seaward. Masten took hold of Jacobs, who was much heavier than he. He tried to tow Jacobs shoreward, but the current carried them farther from the beach. At times when a breaker washed over them, Jacobs flailed wildly and broke away from Masten, who quickly regained his hold. With the clam fork and knapsack removed from Jacobs, Masten continued trying without success to tow him shoreward. He then stopped his efforts to swim to the beach and supported Jacobs as they drifted a quarter of a mile to 600 feet from shore, where they were beyond the strong current. After resting briefly, Masten towed Jacobs 300 feet toward shore. By then he had supported Jacobs about 25 minutes and was unable to tow him any farther. Masten said he would swim to the beach and get help for Jacobs if the latter was able to tread water in the meantime. Jacobs said that he could do so. Masten swam 300 feet farther to the beach, where about 100 spectators had gathered. Nearly exhausted, Masten rested briefly and asked for someone to aid Jacobs. When no one volunteered to do so, Masten tied one end of a rope around his arm and swam back to Jacobs, who nearly was exhausted from treading water. Masten discarded the rope when he found that nobody still held the other end. Three young men located by Douglas arrived and proceeded on surfboards to Jacobs and Masten, who by then was extremely fatigued. Jacobs was taken to shore on one of the boards. The other two men aided Masten part way to the beach, from where he swam and waded to shore.
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