Coast Guard rescues man who reportedly jumped into Straits of Mackinac

9th Coast Guard District News
CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued one man out of the water Wednesday morning in the Straits of Mackinac.

At about 6 a.m., the communications watchstander at Coast Guard Station St. Ignace, Mich., was contacted by the Mackinac County Central Dispatch reporting that a man had been seen jumping from the lower section on the east side of the Mackinac Bridge.

A Station St. Ignace boatcrew was dispatched aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small. In addition, a helicopter was requested from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City,Mich., but it was delayed due to weather that included poor visibility in the Straits area.

The rescue boatcrew arrived on scene and deployed a life ring with a strobe to determine set and drift. The RB-S crew was able to locate and rescue the man, who was floating on his back and was conscious about one mile from the bridge. The RB-S crew stabilized him on a backboard, and he confirmed he was the one who jumped from the bridge.

The man was taken to Mackinaw City where he was transferred from the RB-S to an awaiting emergency medical services crew, who further transported him to Mackinac Straits Medical Center via ambulance.

There is no further information regarding the health of the jumper.

The bridge span’s estimated height is approximately 75 feet above the water.

“Accurate and timely information provided by 911 dispatch allowed quick location of the individual in spite of heavy fog conditions,” said Lt. Rich Sansone, search-and-rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie. “Precise location data enhances search-and-rescue planning, decreases Coast Guard response time, and ultimately translates to significantly increased odds of survival for any victim or person in distress.”

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