Woman rescued after jump from Mt. Hope Bridge


A woman was pulled from the water east of the Mount Hope Bridge late Thursday morning after witnesses said she jumped from the Bristol side of the span.

Witnesses reported that the woman had parked her sedan not far from the center of the bridge and, minutes later, climbed over the side. First rescuers to arrive said that she appeared to be trying to tread water as the current carried her east, in the direction of Fall River.

Bristol Fire Department rescuers pulled the still-conscious woman out of the frigid waters of Mt. Hope Bay at around 11:45 a.m.

No word on her condition is available.

The initial call to police came shortly before  11:30 a.m., and told of a woman sitting in  her possibly broken down car at the top of the bridge. The car's emergency flashers were activated.

Portsmouth Deputy Fire Chief Michael O’Brien said that upon local Portsmouth’s first responders’ arrival on the bridge at 11:23 a.m., a victim was spotted on the surface of the water.

“Police officials, who were already on scene, reported that the victim was struggling in the water,” Deputy O’Brien said in a statement.

The Bristol harbormaster’s boat reached the woman at 11:38 a.m. about a quarter of a mile east of the bridge, he said. Portsmouth and Bristol marine units arrived shortly after and through a combined effort the woman was pulled from the water and onto the Portsmouth boat, Deputy O’Brien said.

Portsmouth EMTs began treatment on the female, who was conscious, and transported her to the Annawamscutt Drive boat area in Bristol. Bristol Ambulance then transported the patient to Rhode Island Hospital.

Portsmouth Fire Department does not know the patient’s identity at this point, the deputy chief said.

Several police cars and an ambulance were on the bridge during the search, which slowed traffic to a crawl for about 30 minutes. The Coast Guard also sent a boat for assistance.

More information will be posted as it's made available.


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It is always sad when someone tries to or succeeds in taking their own life. maybe this woman will have a second chance and hopefully get the help she need to overcome the situations that have caused her despair. My husband didn't get that second chance. Now our family has to live with that loss. I hope she is ok and can get the help she needs.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.