Wayne I. Johnson, 13, schoolboy, saved Dianne E. and Mary M. James, 7 and 5 respectively, from drowning, Wanakena, New York, March 29, 1953. Dianne and her sister Mary, neither of whom could swim, fell into the Oswegarchie River from a retaining wall and drifted in a current of a mile an hour into deep water 18 feet from the bank. Observing the girls from a nearby road, Wayne, who wore heavy clothing including rubber boots, ran 100 feet to the wall and dived into the water. Wayne swan 20 feet cross-current to Dianne and took hold of her. Mary had become unconscious and was drifting submerged beside Dianne. As Wayne obtained a hold on Mary with his other hand and attempted to raise her head, he suddenly was submerged and sank to the bottom with the girls. Maintaining his holds, he shoved against the bottom with his feet and brought the girls to the surface. Wayne, whose clothing was water-logged, towed the girls three feet with great effort by kicking his feet. Dianne began flailing her arms and tried to take hold of Wayne, and they again sank to the bottom. Wayne thrust himself to the surface supoorting the girls and, kicking his feet as hard as he could, swam towing them 20 feet to the wall. They were aided from the water by others, and Mary was revived. She and Dianne were nauseated and were treated for shock and exposure. Wayne was tired and chilled. All recovered.
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