Firefighting

Lowell (MA) Descend into Canal to Save Jumper

A 911 caller, police and fire personnel teamed up Friday morning to save the life of an apparently suicidal woman who was seen climbing over a metal railing and plunging 20 feet into the Merrimack Canal, reports The Lowell Sun.

The woman was sitting in the icy water up to her chest with her back against a wall of the canal under the bridge. She remained still, seemingly resigned to a fate of certain hypothermia and death, even as her rescuers worked frantically to reach her.

The unidentified woman made no motion to reach for a life-ring attached to a cord that was tossed down near her from the bridge overhead by the first-arriving police officer and firefighters. Several spectators who had gathered on the opposite side of the canal to watch the drama unfold shouted to the first-responders as they dangled the life-ring to the woman.

“She’s not trying to be saved!” one spectator shouted across the water to rescuers.

The woman, who went into the water at about 8 a.m., was rescued by two firefighters, Lt. Christopher Ryder and William Corey, who donned wetsuits and descended into the water using a ladder before placing the woman into a gurney and lifting her to the road and a waiting ambulance at 8:45.

“It was an awesome job by a team of about 16 to 18. A true team effort,” said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Destrempe. “It was a complex kind of rescue. Just a real valiant effort.”

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