25-year-old rescued from water after jumping off Victory Bridge
After hours of negotiations, police couldn't keep a 25-year-old man from jumping off the Victory Bridge, but crews were able to rescue him immediately after he leaped into the frigid Raritan River Friday.
Perth Amboy Deputy Chief Lawrence Cattano told NJ Advance Media that rescue workers were already in position below the bridge when the man jumped. Officers first responded to the bridge at about 8:45 a.m. after getting calls from people reporting that a man was standing outside the railing and looked as though he planned to jump.
Cattano told the website that at one point, the man indicated that he wanted to climb back over the railing to safety, but then pushed officers away and leaped into the water. Crews pulled him to the shore at which point EMS workers provided medical attention. His current condition is not known.
In late 2014, the NJ Department of Transportation erected a fence along the rails of the Victory Bridge, which connects Perth Amboy to Sayreville. It's come to be known as the "suicide bridge" because of the high number of people who have taken their own lives by jumping from the bridge, as well as dozens of additional suicide attempts. The 5-foot tall fencing was installed as a way to curb suicide attempts.
Between 2004 and 2014, there were approximately 80 suicide attempts and 22 deaths at the Victory Bridge, Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz told NJ 101.5.
The video below shows the northbound lanes of the Victory Bridge in August 2011, prior to the installation of the fencing along the rails.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor for news at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.