River Jumpers in Napa, Marin and Massachusetts

A spate of river jumpers is creating an unusual holiday tradition, or at least a strange coincidence.


Not sure where this particular Christmas tradition arises, but there are at least three cases reported in the last couple days of people jumping into rivers, from Marin to Massachusetts, for a variety of reasons.

In Napa before noon this morning, according to local reports, a man took off his shoes and jacket and jumped into the rain-swollen Napa River from the Third Street Bridge, apparently just to see what it would be like.

Capt. Ty Becerra of the the battalion chief of the responding unit, took part in the river rescue of the 63-year old man, described as a possible transient.

"He appeared to be under the influence of something," Becerra said. He described the man as confused and incoherent, but whether from drugs or hypothermia he could not say. "I do remember him saying 'it's a good day for a swim' while we were taking him to the rescue vehicle."

Becerra estimated he was in the water for ten minutes. About ten rescue personnel were called out to pull the man from the river near the restaurants downstream, and take him to Queen of the Valley for observation. It was not clear if charges were filed.

The Napa Register reported that City Council member Peter Mott was a witness to the man's jump, but it was not clear if Mott or someone else called in the incident.

Meanwhile over in Marin County early Monday morning, a police pulled over the driver of a car in the area of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and College Avenue, near the College of Marin, on suspicion of driving under the influence. The man escaped by running toward Corte Madera Creek, leaping a fence and jumping into the storm-swollen river.

Police gave chase but lost sight of the man in the water and darkness, according to news reports. The search resumed after daybreak this morning.

In Boston, according to a video on NBC News, a police officer ran into the Four Point Channel last night to rescue a woman who "had fallen into the water." Using a rescue life-saver appropriated from a nearby museum, he swam over to the woman and helped her stay afloat until help arrived.

Candy Capone December 25, 2012 at 06:37 AM
First hand, the entire situation was silly. Talked to a responding officer who said they have had numberous calls and several alcohol related arrests of the man in the river today. Ya know it just kinda made me wonder, 'How much is this water rescue gonna cost us?" I mean the people who pay taxes. I dont know, I felt pretty disgusted and angry at the futility of wasted resources with the excessive response to a guy who just wanted to take a swim. I couldnt agree more, it was beautiful out today. Not that im judging this man or think he has diminished value as a person because of a blemished history. I think that human error is abundant and when a erson knowingly puts themself in immediate danger there are natural consequences. If you are inclined to make wacky risks to your life because you injested substances in excess, that is a natural consequence. Theres a lot less shame in owning your flaws than repeating them. (dang Im good). Sink or swim. Well i hope to attach some relavent pics. As always, Louisa your the wind that catches our cries. You are a treasure. Happy Holidays. See you in 2013. C.C.
Andy Treweek December 25, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Should the FD or the PD check a person's tax return prior to rendering aid? Protect and serve only those that never make poor choices?
Jan B December 26, 2012 at 02:20 AM
There; but for the grace of God, go I.
Jan B December 26, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Agreed Andy, It seems everywhere you look we are losing our humanity in this country. I wish I knew why. Is it the economy? Are our adult children less compassionate people? I believe in helping others and paying it forward when someone helps me. It's how I was raised, do unto others as you would have done to you.
Tim Fertiny December 27, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Sounds to me like you could walked right to him and made the rescue yourself...and not even gotten wet


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