Man rescued off Bay Bridge
KENT ISLAND — Early Thursday, May 26, police, fire and rescue units responded to rescue an man who was clinging to a support beam off the William Preston Lane Jr. (Chesapeake Bay) Bridge.
Lt. Kevin Brenner, a paramedic with Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services, was on his way to work Thursday morning when he spotted a man out of his car and climbing over the side of the Bay Bridge, said Beth Lewis, public information officer for DES. He stopped and called 911.
Jason Hayes of Ridgely also stopped to help. Brenner and Hayes kept the man talking until emergency crews arrived, Lewis said.
First Sgt. Jonathan Green, public information officer for Maryland Transportation Authority Police, said the incident took place from 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.
Fire boats from Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department were launched in the event of a water rescue. In addition to KIVFD, units from MdTA, Anne Arundel County Fire Department, Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services, Coast Guard and the Department of Natural Resources responded.
When emergency crews arrived the man was hanging on to a girder below the bridge’s road surface.
KIVFD 1st Assistant Chief Tracy Schulz, who responded in one of the fire boats, said the man was rescued from above. Fire and rescue personnel from AACFD Squad 23 conducted a high-angle rescue to bring the man back to safety.
One firefighter wearing a harness climbed over the side of the bridge and down to the man. Once the man was secured with a cable and harness, rescuers helped him back up onto the bridge deck. He was transported to Anne Arundel Medical Center, Green said.
The eastbound span of the bridge was closed for a little over an hour during the incident, and two-way operation took place on the three-lane span. Traffic backups extended for miles and lasted into the morning.
Anyone contemplating suicide is urged to contact the Maryland Crisis Hotline at 1-800-422-0009.
A rescuer from Anne Arundel County Fire Department appears to hug the man over the side of the bridge.
A rescuer from Anne Arundel County Fire Department reaches the man over the side of the Bay Bridge.
A man clings to a beam over the side of the Bay Bridge Thursday morning, May 26.
Rescuers help the man back onto the Bay Bridge deck and to safety.