David Chang

Camden County Officers Save Man from Drowning in Delaware River

Camden County police officers and sheriff’s officers jumped into the Delaware River Monday and rescued a suicidal man from drowning.

Sergeant Bob Plews and Investigator Jake Sidwa of the Camden County Sheriff’s Department arrived near the Delaware River at Pearl Street in North Camden, New Jersey around 4 p.m. Monday where they found a man wearing only his underwear standing on the bulkhead. After seeing the officers, the man jumped into the river and began swimming toward deeper water, police said.

Plews and Sidwa removed their gear and entered the water. When they were about 50 yards out into the water they managed to reach the man and prevent him from swimming any further. Camden County Metro police officers Joseph Olivo, Daniel Fiori and Alex Rodriguez went into the water as well to help with the rescue. The group surrounded the man and brought him back to shore.

“They continued to talk with the man and relay to him that they were there to help and get him the assistance he needed, but he continued to resist the officers,” Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said.  “The man yelled and flailed his body, but the officers were able to maintain control of the situation due to their professionalism.”   

The man was taken to Cooper University Hospital and is expected to fully recover. Cappelli praised the officers for their efforts during the incident.

“These officers used their training and experience to prevent a real tragedy from taking place on Monday,” said Cappelli. “These officers all put service before self by jumping into [the] river. Their quick action is the reason this man is still alive today.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-8255.

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