VALLECITO, Calif. (AP/CBS SF) — A man trying to jump off a Northern California bridge Monday morning was saved when a sheriff's deputy gripped his arm as the man dangled 150 feet above the waters of a lake, authorities said.
The man was pulled back over the railing and taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation.
The Tuolomne County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post that the department received a report shortly after midnight that a man had threatened to jump off a local bridge, prompting repeated checks by several agencies of two bridges in the Sierra Nevada area, the office said.
Shortly before 3 a.m., the man's car was found near the Parrotts Ferry bridge, which soars over the New Melones Lake near the unincorporated community of Vallecito.
At about 7 a.m., a boat patrol and deputies from both Tuolomne and Calaveras County sheriff's offices began another search, and three hours later the man was found standing on the bridge, authorities said.
Authorities talked to the man for about 10 minutes but then he climbed over the railing and tried to jump, authorities said.
Tuolomne County Sheriff's Cpl. Andrew Long lunged through the railing and grabbed the man by one arm, holding on for about 30 seconds as he dangled over the water. Calaveras County Deputy Jason Markovitz then came to help.
They and other members of the Tuolomne County sheriff's Search and Rescue unit then pulled the man to safety, the Tuolomne County Sheriff's Office statement said. A photo taken by the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office UAV Team captured the dramatic moment of the rescue.
No one was hurt.
"We want to thank all of our allied agencies and the heroic work of all law enforcement personnel today. Your bravery, dedication and persistence saved a life," the statement said.
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