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Bystanders, responders, responsible for saving life of bridge jumper



On Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at approximately 1:00 PM, Troopers assigned to a traffic safety post on the Mt. Hope Bridge observed a vehicle come to a stop on the Portsmouth side of the bridge. The female operator exited the vehicle and walked towards the center span of the bridge. As Troopers attempted to make contact with her, the woman climbed over the railing and jumped from the bridge into the water below.

State Police Detective Michael O’Neill, who was in the area and heard the radio transmission, responded to the base of the bridge where he observed the woman floating in the water. He immediately responded to his division vehicle and retrieved a lifesaving flotation ring. Detective O’Neil entered the water and began to swim towards the woman. Nearby residents, later identified as Lawrence and Lynn Walsh, had also observed the woman in the water. They retrieved their inflatable boat and Lawrence Walsh began to row out towards the woman. Detective O’Neill was able to join Walsh in the boat. They continued on to the woman’s location, successfully pulled her from the water and brought her to the shore.

The woman was evaluated by Portsmouth Rescue personnel and transported to Rhode Island Hospital. At this time, she is reported as being in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

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