First responders in Gadsden and the surrounding area continue to search for someone they believe jumped from a bridge into the Coosa River. 

According to Michael Rodgers, a Public Affairs Coordinator with the city of Gadsden, a person was reported as having jumped from Gadsden’s Etowah Memorial Bridge into the Coosa River early Saturday evening, April 16. State, county and city officials began searching upon receiving the report, and the search remains underway. 

Rodgers told 1819 News that multiple authorities from the surrounding areas have teamed together to scan the riverway and banks, searching for the unnamed individual.

The Gadsden Police Department is working with the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office and the Alexander City Rescue Squad, a specialized rescue unit from Tallapoosa County which has special sonar to map the river bottom. The Gadsden Fire Department is also working with neighboring departments trained in water rescue to carry out the search. 

There is no word about who the suspected jumper might be or their motivation for jumping, and the authorities are not stating whether they have a person they suspect of being the jumper. It remains unclear whether the jump was an accident, a thrill-seeker or someone attempting suicide. The bridge itself is not overly tall, and a person could survive a fall from it. However, Rodgers told 1819 News that people do not jump from the bridge very often.

“It’s certainly not a common occurrence," Rodgers said. “I think it is something that has happened in the past, but I can’t say how often. I do know, from personal experience, that I’ve been here nearly a decade, and this is the first time that something like this has happened.”

A local store closed its boat ramps to prevent interfering with the search efforts, but those who travel the waters are being encouraged to be on the lookout and report any sightings.

“This is a popular fishing spot, and there are people out and about on boats and fishing,” Rodgers said. “So, if somebody is out on the water and sees something that might be of interest, we are encouraging them to call 911 and report it.”

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