A man who jumped from the Hillsborough Bridge has been taken to hospital after Charlottetown firefighters pulled him from the water shortly before noon.
© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
Emergency crews seek a person in the water near the Hillsborough Bridge in Charlottetown Monday morning.
Speaking to the media at the scene, Deputy fire Chief Tim Mamye said he didn’t know much about the man’s condition, but the paramedics were able to start working on him as soon as rescuers had him back on land.
“I just know that he had some weak vitals, but I’m not quite sure after that,” he said.
At around 10:30 a.m. the Charlottetown fire department received a call from the RCMP that someone had jumped off the Hillsborough Bridge into the river below.
Police, firefighters and Island EMS were quick to respond and moved to several locations on the waterfront as they tried to locate the man in the water.
It was a clear, sunny day with the temperature around 5 C, but the water was still cold with long stretches of ice along the shores.
That ice blocked access to the river and kept the fire department from launching its rescue boat from any of its three launch sites in Charlottetown.
Most of the emergency workers eventually gathered at the cruise ship port as they watched the river for any sign of the man.
Eventually two people on the Stratford side spotted him in the water.
With the ice hampering efforts to launch a rescue vessel, a contractor at the cruise ship terminal brought a small boat that firefighters were able to lower into the water using a forklift.
That was almost an hour after the man had gone into the water.
The rescuers were able to pull the man from the water and about 10 minutes after they set out, the firefighters brought him back to the wharf where he was lifted out of the boat and loaded into an ambulance.
A Canadian Coast Guard helicopter joined the search, but was only over the scene for a few minutes before the man was rescued.
Mamye said the people on the shore on the Stratford side had lost sight of the man, but the firefighters in the boat were able to find him.
“He was right along the ice line on the Stratford side,” he said.