Man jumps into Schuylkill River, teens attempt rescue

Police are searching for a man who witnesses say jumped from the Chestnut Street Bridge into the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia around 5 p.m.

Friends Miles Burton and Dylan Vanderlaan, both 18 years old, were walking on the Schuylkill Banks trail when it happened. “In the corner of my eye I see a man or some object drop straight down in the Schuylkill and we went over to see and I heard a lady scream ‘call 9-11,'” said Burton.

Both men jumped into the river, about a 10-foot drop.

What happened next surprised both would-be rescuers who reached the man in the river.

Burton says the man, who he described as a black male in his 40s, didn’t want to be saved and fought them off.

They say they weren’t able to save him.

“We got him over to the wall,” said Burton. “We told him to hold onto the wall but he wasn’t holding on.” 

“It was weird just watching him transition back and forth from being face down and wanting to die to still fighting,” said Vanderlaan.

Vanderlaan jumped in first, and Burton followed. “I acted off of instinct,”  said Burton, adding that he didn’t want his friend to have to handle it alone.

Police and fire crews are continuing to search for the missing man.

This latest incident comes after police recovered a body from the Schuylkill on Sunday afternoon. Police say the body may be related to an abandoned car found at the Girard Street Bridge earlier in the weekend.

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