(Camden, NJ) – Members of the Camden County Sheriff’s Department and Camden County Police Department prevented a suicidal man from drowning in the Delaware River.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. on October 31, police officers and a sheriff’s officer jumped into the Delaware River to save a man in distress adjacent to Pearl Street in North Camden.
“These officers used their training and experience to prevent a real tragedy from taking place on Monday,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. “These officers all put service before self by jumping into river, their quick action is the reason this man is still alive today.”
Sgt. Bob Plews and Investigator Jake Sidwa of the Sherriff’s Office were the first to reach the man standing on the bulkhead. Upon seeing the officers the man, wearing only his underwear, jumped into the Delaware and began swimming toward deeper water.
Plews and Sidwa removed their gear and entered the water in an attempt to talk the man back to shore for help. When they were about 50 yards out into water, they were able to reach him and prevent him from swimming any further.
Soon they were joined in the water by Camden County Metro Police Officers Joseph Olivo, Daniel Fiori and Alex Rodriguez. The group surrounded Mr. Nelson and each took hold of a part of his body and brought him back to shore.
“They continued to talk with the man and relay to him that they were there to help and get him the assistance he needed, but he continued to resist the officers,” Cappelli said. “The man yelled and flailed his body, but the officers were able to maintain control of the situation due to their professionalism.”
The man was transported by medical personnel and Camden County Metro Police to Cooper University Hospital.