The lower wooden or metal log or pole of a small or large vessel that holds the bottom of the lowest sail in place is called the lower boom. And many a novice has seen or heard of... or been the victim of an unexpected swinging boom that could knock you off your feet... or into the drink in more serious cases. People have lost their lives when not paying attention and getting struck by it. Thus the lowering of the boom... or a very strong tongue lashing gives the same verbal effect to those who have misperformed.
Whilst in the Lisbon Portugal area, a landsman, (a recruit not yet trained at sea skills making him a "seaman") by the name of Henry O Neil was working on the lower boom of the vessel when he somehow, didn't get the lowering of the boom, but got it just as bad by falling off it and into the ocean... possibly some 20 or 30 feet below.
He was struggling in the water when ordinary seaman Edward Maddin, Newfoundland born, dove into the heavily running currents to save him. Another sailor by the name of John Handran also dove in to aid in the rescue and the lad was soon hauled back up onto the deck.
Of about 250 Medals of Honor that would be awarded to the US Navy, at least 86 would be awarded for sailors who dove into the water to save mates or others from drowing. If the victim could not swim, the panic setting in often could very seriously result in hero and victim drowning. Hide tides and other matters often could have resulted in death. It is for this reason that medals were awarded for this type of heroism, but after the Purge of 1917 and the creation of a whole new pyramid of awards, lesser awards could have then been presented for life saving.
One of its crew members a few years later, and for a very short period of time was Double Medal of Honor recipient William Sweeney who's name has received honourable mention earlier on this site. Sweeney sailored on at least 9 different vessels in about a 10 year career and would also earn both medals saving others from drowning after they fell off ships.
The Franklin would go on to function as a training vessel for about 40 years and then it would be taken out of service.
Like many who have earned the Medal of Honor, Edward Maddin's life before and after his earning the medal still needs much more research.
NOTE: This is my 30 blog. I would really appreciate it if you would send me comments on what's been covered, and what you would like to see in these blogs. And be nice... hehe