Technical Rescue, Water & Ice Rescue

Columbus (IN) Firefighters Assist in Water Rescue

Firefighter swims out to victim during water rescue

By Mike Wilson

Columbus (IN) firefighters rescued an adult female from the East Fork of the White River early Friday after the female jumped off of the 3rd Street Bridge in Columbus. 

According to the Columbus Police Department, police officers responded to the 3rd street Bridge after receiving a call for a suspicious person leaning over the bridge. A Columbus police officer arrived at the 3rd St. Bridge at approximately 8:52 a.m., and witnessed the female jump from the bridge, prompting a call-out of the Columbus Fire Department and the Bartholomew County Water Rescue and Recovery Team. Numerous police officers converged on river’s east bank to maintain a visual of the female’s location as she drifted down river. Officers reported that the female traveled over a low head dam located between the 3rd St. Bridge and 2nd St. Bridge, and was continuing to move down river toward the Water St.  Public boat ramp.

RELATED: Mike Pearson: RAPID WATER RESCUE | Tiered Training Approach to Swift-Water Rescue | Humpday Hangout: Water Rescue

Columbus Fire Department Engine Company 3 arrived at the Water St. public boat ramp within minutes of being dispatched. Upon arrival, they were informed by police officers that the female was still moving down river and was struggling to stay above the water. The female was able to speak, but did not appear to move her arms or legs. The female’s head was to only portion of the body visible above the water. Wearing a water rescue suit, a Columbus firefighter, Daniel Pinnow, entered the water and swam out to the victim. Once the firefighter secured the female, both were pulled to the river bank were an ambulance was waiting to transport the female to the hospital. The female was out of the water at approximately 9:01 a.m. The condition of the female is unknown at this time.

Video provided by the Columbus Police Department 

Agencies that assisted at the scene include the Columbus Police Department, Indiana State Police, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, Bartholomew County Water Rescue and Recovery, and the Columbus Regional Health Ambulance Service. The firefighter rescuer was uninjured. All City of Columbus firefighters receive water and ice rescue training annually.

This successful rescue was a team effort by all assisting agencies. Through our collaboration, in training and response, we strive to provide the highest available service to the community. 

Mike Wilson is a captain with the City of Columbus (IN) Fire Department.