Man rescued after jumping in the river

Posted July 22, 2009, at 10:06 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Fire Department pulled a man out of the Penobscot River on Wednesday afternoon.

Bangor dispatchers received a call at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday reporting that someone was in the river behind Hollywood Slots.

“He was on shore at one point, and he decided to jump in the river again,” said assistant Fire Chief Vance Trip.

The man, whom companions called “Ansel,” jumped in the water at a spot along the river known by the Fire Department to be “an area for the homeless,” Trip said.

Bangor police declined to identify the man but Lt. Jeff Millard said that “Ansel” had jumped into the river before.

Major Pike of Bangor said Wednesday he had been drinking with the man “all morning” at the spot, which is obscured by tall grass and weeds down a dirt path behind Hollywood Slots.

“I was standing there, taking a sip of my vodka and heard a splash,” Pike said.

Pike said Joe Perham, also of Bangor, jumped in the water after the man, and dragged him back to shore.

“He’s the real hero,” Pike said.

Perham declined to comment.

“He was right by the shore for a while. A firefighter got suited up in a suit for river rescues,” said Trip. “When [the firefighter] got down there, [the man] decided that he was going to, instead of coming in, jump in the river again. At that point he was hauled out.”

The man, whom Trip described as “combative” after he was pulled out of the river, was restrained and taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center, where Trip said he will be evaluated.

Trip declined to comment on the man’s medical condition, but did say that “hypothermia is always a concern with any kind of river rescue.”

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