Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man who drowned trying to save pair is honored

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission has honored a Central Florida man who drowned while trying to save two people from drowning in Lake Weir in 2011.

Kenneth Stephens Sr., 55, of Dunnellon died while trying to rescue his sister-in-law and niece who began to struggle while swimming in Lake Weir during a family outing in June 2011.

The Pittsburgh-based Fund presented Stephens' family with the Carnegie medal and a $5,000 financial grant to commemorate his sacrifice as a hero, said Doug Chambers, a Fund spokesman.

In June 2011, Stephens was boating with extended family members for an outing meant to memorialize his son, who died in a mining accident six months earlier.

His niece, 8-year-old Priscilla DeLira, was swimming with his sister-in-law, Pauline Yambao, about 10 feet from the boat when they began to struggle. Yamboa grabbed onto DeLira's life jacket and they started to sink.

Stephens jumped in and saved DeLira. But when he went back to help Yambao, both of them disappeared beneath the surface.

Marion County Sheriff's divers recovered their bodies a day later about 500 yards from where the boat was anchored.

Since 1904, the Carnegie Fund has awarded a medal four times a year to people in the United States and Canada who risked their lives to save others.

Man who drowned trying to save pair is honored 12/19/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 9:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated


    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Clearwater police: Car thief dead after owner fires gun


    CLEARWATER — One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it Monday night, police said.

  4. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive


    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  5. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.