March 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 79  

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NEWS

Students find semi-conscious man floating under University Dr. bridge

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff
Matt Prince/Gazette
NEAR TRAGEDY ON WESTERN’S CAMPUS. The area around Western’s University Dr. Bridge was the site of an attempted suicide Monday night.

Two Western students’ quick response to a dangerous situation may have saved the life of a student found floating, semi-conscious in the Thames River under the University Dr. bridge.

At 9:35 p.m. on Monday two students were walking on the path under the bridge when they spotted a backpack on the bank of the river, said Elgin Austen, spokesperson for the Campus Community Police Service. They then noticed a person floating in the river. When they called out to him and got no response, they ran to Elgin Hall and sought help, Austen explained.

The London Fire Department marine unit was called in to get the man out of the water, Austen said, adding when he was rescued, the man was non-responsive.

“He had consumed a large amount of alcohol,” Austen said, adding there was evidence to show the incident was an attempted suicide.

Austen explained that the 22-year-old male student is now undergoing treatment at University Hospital. He did not suffer any injuries beyond hypothermia from the cold water, he said.

“The positive thing is that the two young people [who discovered the man in the river] should be commended for their very immediate actions,” Austen pointed out, adding the London Police Department, ambulance and the fire department were all called to the scene.

The LPD responded to the emergency call as well, confirmed spokesperson Const. Paul Martin. He also confirmed that the incident was being considered an attempted suicide.

“On arrival [police] found clothing and belongings near the river close to Delaware [Hall],” Martin said.

The man is in hospital and psychiatric treatment has been requested for him, Martin explained.

The London Fire Department could not be reached for comment.

The Student Emergency Response Team declined to comment on the incident.

 

 

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