Quick action by West Vancouver police and Vancouver Police marine unit officers saved a distraught man who jumped into the Capilano River on Monday.
West Vancouver Police first received a report around 8 a.m. Monday of a man sitting on a sand bar in the middle of the river, fully clothed and soaking wet.
The man appeared to be distraught, with his head in his hands, according to the caller who phoned in the report.
Police attended and tried to speak to the man, but he ignored offers of help, said Const. Kevin Goodmurphy, spokesman for the West Vancouver Police. The man then jumped into the frigid water and began swimming downstream.
Concerned that he may be trying to hurt himself, officers dropped a rope and lifejacket from the rail bridge downstream. The man briefly took hold of the lifejacket while he removed his clothing, and then let go, drifting towards the mouth of the river, said Goodmurphy.
He continued to ignore offers of assistance, now from BC Ambulance as well as West Vancouver Fire & Rescue crews, who had also arrived on scene.
West Vancouver Police then requested the assistance of a Vancouver Police Marine Unit who dispatched a crew from Vancouver.
At 8:43 am, two officers from the marine unit entered the water. Combined efforts of the police officers on the shore and in the water able to encourage the man to swim to shore at Ambleside Park, where he was apprehended under the Mental Health Act. He was later transported to hospital by ambulance with no apparent injuries.