Edward W. Shorter attempted to save a woman from drowning, Newport News, Virginia, September 3, 1996. In a suicide attempt, a 52-year-old woman jumped from a bridge spanning the James River at a point midway across its five-mile width. She was carried downstream by the tidal current. A motorist on the bridge, Shorter, 45, maintenance planner, saw her jump and immediately jumped into the river after her. He swam to the woman and grasped her by her clothing, but the woman struggled against him. Shorter maintained his hold on her and, with one arm, tried to swim against the current back to the bridge. Tiring, he stopped stroking, and the current took them downstream. Of the others who had stopped on the bridge, someone threw a life ring into the river. Shorter released his hold on the woman to retrieve the ring but was soon nearly exhausted. He called to those on the bridge for help. Meanwhile, three men fishing from a small boat nearby had been alerted and had responded to the woman. They pulled her aboard then discovered Shorter in the water and retrieved him. En route to shore, the fishermen were met by a rescue boat, which took Shorter and the woman the remaining distance. Though uninjured, the woman was hospitalized. Shorter was very tired but he recovered.
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