Bangor firefighters rescue bridge jumper

Posted July 02, 2010, at 11:52 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor firefighters rescued a man late Friday night who jumped from the Penobscot Bridge into the Penobscot River.

The man, whose name and age were not available, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center, Assistant Chief Rick Cheverie of the Bangor Fire Department said.

He had been in the water for nearly 20 minutes before city firefighters found him using high-powered lights, binoculars and a thermal imaging camera.

Firefighters used a rescue boat they keep docked at Bangor Waterfront to pick him up. The man was conscious when he was found, Cheverie said.

“It’s always good when we have a success like this,” he said.

According to Cheverie, firefighters and police were called to the waterfront at 10:33 p.m. — 10 minutes after low tide — after a person who was on the bridge reported that a man had stripped off his outer clothes and jumped into the river.

Bangor police Sgt. Bob Bishop said it was not yet clear why the man jumped. Bishop estimated the distance from the bridge to the surface of the river at about 35 feet.

“He’s lucky to be alive,” Bishop said.

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