Camden, NJ (WTXF) - "Our best guess is that he was probably out 50 yards or so," said Sergeant Robert Plews with the Camden County Sheriff’s Department. He recalls the day he and other emergency responders made a daring rescue.
"As we pulled up we saw an individual standing right there. He was bleeding from his arm and once he saw us he jumped into the water and started to swim out," said Sergeant Plews.
Officers with the Sheriff's Department and Camden County Metro Police got a radio call about a suicidal man dressed in only his underwear and planning to jump into the Delaware River from the waterfront behind Campbell's Field. It happened around four o'clock Monday afternoon.
"He was standing right here," he pointed. Sergeant Plews says when the man jumped in he and his partner immediately took off their gun belts, put them in the car and jumped into the water behind him.
Soon after Camden Metro Police officers arrived and entered the water too.
"Once we were out we were all able to grab a part of his body, his leg, his arm and the back of his shirt and start swimming him back in."
He says the toughest part was treading water. His adrenaline was so high he doesn’t recall how long they were in it. The victim was rushed to the hospital.
"I tried talking to him and could tell right away that he was in a serious state of psychiatric crisis. I just hope he gets the help he needs and go on with his life that's all,” said Sergeant Plews who says this is the first time he's had to jump into water to save someone. He says it helped that he was once a life guard and had water safety training in the Police Academy.