MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Rescue crews from Miami’s Fire Rescue were forced to improvise Monday evening when a call came in about an unresponsive woman on the piling under a bridge.
People near the Little River bridge on NE 79th Street say the woman wasn’t moving or answering them when they tried to get her attention. They couldn’t tell if she was alive, so one man quickly called 911.
“I was worried for the person cause I’m not sure the person was alive,” Tresrilen Salomon told CBS4 reporter Donna Rapado. “For some reason I can see a head goes down and I keep looking but the head never come back up. That’s when I called the police.”
The only way onto the piling is by boat or by swimming.
The rescue dive team was called out but nearby paramedics arrived first, so they improvised.
“Some of our paramedics came up with the idea of trying to pull a canoe from a neighboring house,” explained Capt. Ignatius Carroll of Miami Fire Rescue. “Then load their equipment up in it and then paddled out there to her.”
As the paramedics approached the woman she started to move a little. But, Carroll says she was somewhat out of it and she tumbled into the water.
Paramedics grabbed her quickly, putting her in the canoe and covering her.
Once in the rescue truck crews evaluated the woman – who was unable to answer any questions.
“We’re not sure exactly how she got under there but the position she was in,” said Carroll. “Definitely the only way to get there is by getting in the water and the water seems to be about seven, eight feet deep where she was.”
Once in the rescue truck, paramedics asked the woman how she got under the bridge and if she lived under it. She was unsure about both.
It was unclear if she was on drugs or alcohol. But, Carroll said it was clear she had some medical issues so they took her to the hospital in stable condition.