Jumper rescued from St. Joseph River

Published 1:37 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A man who jumped off the Broadway Street bridge and into the Saint Joseph River Monday night in Niles was rescued by local public safety officials.

Niles City Fire Chief Larry Lamb said he found the person in about four feet of water behind Massimo’s Pizzeria, south of the Main Street bridge and on the east side of the river.

“I heard a moaning sound, basically a person in distress,” said Lamb, who was the first to arrive on the scene. “Fortunately, he had made it to shore.”

The person was removed from the river with the help of Niles City Police and first responders, and transported by Southwestern Michigan Ambulance Service to the Lakeland Hospital room for treatment.

Police would not release the name of the individual, citing medical reasons.

Lamb said the individual was conscious when found, but unable to support his own body weight.

Lamb said the rescue is another good example of local police, fire and first responders working well together.

“In these types of things, speed is of the essence, and, fortunately, we found him above water, which allowed us to make a rescue,” he said.

Lamb said it was the second time a person had to be pulled out of the river this year.

Niles dispatch was first alerted after someone heard a splash and discovered a person floating in the St. Joseph River near the bridge on Broadway shortly after 11 p.m.