MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A daring water rescue jolted everyone back from Christmas late Tuesday morning.
“A despondent young lady jumped from the Westover Bridge into the Mon River, which caused a lot of public safety folks to go into action,” Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said.
Morgantown Police, Westover Police, Westover Fire, Granville Fire, MECCA 911, and Morgantown Fire all were part of what needed to be a fast-moving operation due to water temperatures below 40 degrees and air temperature below 25 degrees.
“We spotted her floating down the river between the Westover Bridge, headed toward Star City,” Preston said. “She was floating down river.”
The initial call came in at 11:57 a.m. Tuesday morning. It’s believed the woman traveled about a quarter of a mile once in the water.
“We were really on a tight timeline as far as getting her in there,” Preston said. “I can not express the gratitude for the cooperation of fire department, the EMS, police departments, the 911 center. Everyone did what they had to do to save this lady.”
The 27-year-old woman was seen jumping off the Westover Bridge just before noon on Tuesday. When police reached her, she was still alert.
“The Morgantown Fire Department, the Granville Fire Department were able to get their boats in the water,” he said. “And they were able to have a successful rescue, pulled her out of the water, got her to the hospital. She’s in Ruby Memorial Hospital right now.”
According to police, a person exposed to temperatures of this nature can lose consciousness within 15 to 30 minutes. She is suffering from a number of undisclosed injuries.
“I don’t have a listing of everything, but she’s going to be kept for a while,” Preston said. “Obviously, there’s some issues going on with her.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, there was no update on her condition. The Morgantown Police Department does not release the identity of those who attempt suicide.