William C. Powell, 28, truck driver, helped to save Joseph B. Rivenbark, 13, from drowning, Burgaw, North Carolina, June 26, 1966. Joseph, who could not swim, stepped from a sand bar in the Northeast Cape Fear River into deep water. He was submerged intermittently as the strong current carried him downstream and farther from the bank. Powell waded and swam to Joseph, who then was 40 feet from the bank and was about to sink again. Joseph grasped Powell and tried to climb onto him, causing both to be submerged briefly. As they drifted Powell broke away and then attempted to support Joseph. The latter again grasped Powell, flailing wildly and kicking him. In order to subdue him, Powell struck Joseph, who then released his hold and sank. Powell, who was nearly exhausted, shouted for help. Hugh Overstreet, Jr., who was fully clothed, entered the water as did Powell’s stepson. Overstreet waded and swam to 75 feet from the bank. He dived, found Joseph, and took him to the surface. Although winded, Overstreet towed Joseph, who was semiconscious, 60 feet to wadable water. Overstreet’s son then assisted him the rest of the way to the bank with Joseph, who was revived. Powell’s stepson aided him to the bank.
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