William B. Hackett died attempting to save Stephen D. Cushing from drowning, Jonesville, Vermont, June 22, 1961. When Stephen, 13, schoolboy, a good swimmer, attempted to cross a river gorge four feet wide, he fell into the rain-swollen river and was swept into a whirlpool eight feet in diameter where the water was 12 feet deep. As the swift current spun him around, Stephen was submerged intermittently and called for help. William, 16, schoolboy, made his way to a ledge three feet above the water at the side of the pool and extended his hand toward Stephen but could not reach him. He then jumped into the pool and sought to reach Stephen as both were whirled about. William was submerged several times and could get no closer to Stephen than three feet. While three other boys who had been with them searched for rescue aids, Stephen and William disappeared beneath the surface. The boys later found Stephen, who had made his way onto the river bank after being carried 300 feet downstream from the whirlpool by the swift current . Stephen was dazed but uninjured. Police recovered William’s body two hours later.
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