Tuesday, September 26, 2017 Elyria 64°

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UPDATED: Woman rescued after apparent bridge jump


LORAIN — A suicidal woman who jumped between 30 and 40 feet from the Charles Berry Bascule Bridge into the Black River around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday survived.

The woman was rescued about 30 seconds after plunging into the water by four members of the U.S. Coast Guard aboard a 45-foot response boat. The Coast Guard station at 110 Alabama Ave., is about 150 yards northwest of the bridge.

“Our timely response saved her life,” Petty Officer Third Class Spencer Braid said.

Braid said the crew used an approximately 12-foot-long pike pole to pull the unidentified 43-year-old woman from the river. The woman was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, and the water temperature was about 43 degrees, according to Braid.

He said the woman, who was suffering from mild hypothermia — low body temperature — was immediately wrapped in blankets when pulled aboard the boat. The boat was operated by Coxswain Eric Eberl with Petty Officer Daniel Carpenter, Petty Officer Garett Shepler and Seaman Jamison Franzen aboard.

Police were called to the bridge at 7:25 p.m. about the report of a woman hanging from the bridge. The woman had climbed over the railing near the guard tower of the bridge, according to fire Capt. Todd Kiewswetter. He said she was screaming that she wanted to be left alone.

As firefighters headed below the bridge to attempt a rescue and the response boat began to move south toward the bridge, Kieswetter said the woman jumped. Kieswetter said the woman was face down and her body was limp when she was pulled aboard the boat.

The woman, who suffered minor injuries, was hospitalized at Mercy Regional Medical Center, according to Herb de la Porte, LifeCare Ambulance vice president.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

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