Agencies were called to the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge around 8:30 a.m., Thursday to rescue a man who was in the Mississippi River.
St. Louis city police called the U.S. Coast Guard for assistance, according to Ryan Christensen with the U.S. Coast Guard. The police informed the U.S. Coast Guard before 8:30 a.m., that a man had possibly jumped into the river. The St. Louis City Fire Department took over as the lead agency.
St. Louis Fire Department Captain Garon P. Mosby said the fire department received a call about 8:30 a.m. about a vehicle accident. But that was “updated to reflect that a person was in the water,” Mosby said.
“We dispatched our Marine Rescue Task force, which is two Marine unit vessels. There were seven members on board ... four firefighters on one and three firefighters on the other,” Mosby said. “We also had a land-based rescue where we sent fire trucks to the bridge. They observed the scene of the accident, Mosby said.
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Mosby said the fire department had “received reports that an individual was in the water.”
“We located our patient south of the Poplar Street Bridge,” Mosby said. Asked about how long the man had been in the water, Mosby said about 18-20 minutes.
“We put a swimmer in the water. The gentleman could not communicate with us. He was somewhat conscious. The swimmer swam over to him. We pulled over to our boat. We kept his head above water. We put another swimmer in the water to help pull him back,” Mosby said.
“He was in critical but stable condition. We were concerned about hypothermia, considering the amount of time he was in the water,” Mosby said.
Mosby didn’t know the man’s age and didn’t know whether the man lived in Missouri or Illinois. He said several other agencies assisted St. Louis in the land-based operation. There were 36 firefighters who participated in the land- and water-based operations that saved the man’s life.
KSDK reported there was a car accident on the bridge at the same time that crews responded to the water rescue.
However, police could not clarify how the man ended up in the water. Mosby was not sure either. Mosby said witnesses on scene had said the man jumped, but that was not confirmed by any person of authority. That aspect of the investigation is being conducted by the St. Louis Police Department, according to Mosby.
“There were no injuries reported in the (car) accident at this time. Without additional information, we cannot speculate on further circumstances,” St. Louis city police said.