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French Sailor saves 16 year old girl from drowning

Year 1828, J. Kingston

Read by Edouard Fox – Ambassador, Royal Humane Society

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September 10, 1828

This is to certify, that on the tenth of September, 1828, the two eldest daughters of Mr. Kingston, while bathing in the sea near Boulogne, having been borne away by the current, together with the bathing-woman, would have been lost had it not been for the exertions of Jean Baptiste Gélé, who, seeing them struggling with the waves, hastened to their succour.

In the first instance, he carried out a rope to one of the Humane Society’s men (The Humane Society established at Boulogne) (and who, with the driver of the machine and the bathing woman, were unable to bear up against the current,) by means of which they were drawn to the land; then perceiving the eldest daughter, who was borne to a considerable distance out to the sea, and whose fate would have been inevitable (as she had fainted, and was sinking fast, her hair alone being visible on the surface,) he swam on to her, and with much difficulty brought her to the shore. The parents of the young ladies thus preserved have thought it their duty to place a certificate of the facts in the hands of Jean Baptiste Gélé, that in case (from the vicissitudes to which the life of a seaman is exposed) he should require assistance it may be felt by those to whom he may apply, whatever may be their country, that this action, performed in the cause of humanity, gives him a claim on their services.

Signed, J. Kingston.

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