Good Samaritan, Students Rescue Swimmer in Biscayne Bay

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A Good Samaritan and a group of college students helped rescue a man who jumped off a bridge into Biscayne Bay Monday and was struggling to swim.

Witnesses reported seeing the man jump off the smaller bridge next to the Rickenbacker Causeway just before 5 p.m., Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said.

A couple saw the man jump into the water and saw him struggling in the water, Carroll said. One of the witnesses, a 19-year-old man named Reydel Pereira, grabbed a mattress from a homeless person and jumped in the water to help the swimmer, Carroll said.

The swimmer was unresponsive and face-down in the water but Pereira tried to swim to shore with the swimmer on the mattress, Carroll said. Pereira also started struggling but a group of college students who were on a boat stopped and helped them to shore.

The swimmer, a man possibly in his 30s, was rushed to Mercy Hospital in extremely critical condition, Carroll said. Officials are still trying to determine his identity.

“We commend all of these individuals who obviously risked his life to jump in the water to help him, and the other four college students who saw something was wrong and jumped into action as well,” Carroll said.

The incident remains under investigation.