Webster D. Sanders helped attempt to save Jordan Joanides from drowning, Tampa, Florida, June 13, 2001. At night, Joanides, 35, was floating face down in Tampa Bay after a traffic accident on an interstate highway bridge in which he and his vehicle dropped from the bridge into the water. Webster, 17, high school student who was also a lifeguard, was a passenger in a car that stopped at the scene. Sleeping, he was alerted to the accident. Webster disrobed to his underwear, then, taking a child’s inner tube that was provided by another motorist, jumped feet first 22 feet into the water, which was 15 feet deep. By then, Joanides had been carried by a swift, outgoing tidal current to a point about 150 feet from the bridge. Webster swam to him, turned him over, and found that he was not breathing, had no pulse, and was severely injured. Webster attempted to swim back to the bridge with Joanides but was carried farther from it by the current. A police diver entered the water from the bridge and swam to them. He grasped Webster, who maintained his hold of Joanides, and swam back to the bridge with them, Webster kicking. The diver secured them at the bridge with a line that had been dropped until rescue boats arrived and removed them from the water. Joanides had died of injuries received in the accident. Webster was tired and his arms were sore, but he recovered.
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