An unidentified Cape Girardeau woman survived after she jumped from the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge on Saturday morning, then washed down the Mississippi River nine miles to Thebes, Ill., where workers on a commercial boat plucked her from the water, emergency responders said.
Thebes firefighters responded to a call from a commercial boat on the river about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, where workers had pulled the woman from the water, Thebes fire chief Ruben Hull said.
"The people said they thought they saw something bobbing up and down in the water," Hull said. "They saw someone in the water and retrieved her. They said she jumped from the Cape Girardeau bridge."
Firefighters placed the woman in a rescue basket on a johnboat and transported her from the commercial boat in the middle of the river to a waiting ambulance at Thebes, Hull said. The ambulance then transported her to a hospital, Hull said. He said hew2 was unsure which hospital.
The Cape Girardeau Police Department responded at 1:06 p.m. to a call of a suspicious vehicle on the Emerson Bridge, officer Darin Hickey said. Because it was outside the department's jurisdiction, they notified Illinois authorities, he said.
"It did appear that the vehicle may have been involved in some type of situation that occurred on the bridge," Hickey said.
Alexander County Sheriff Timothy Brown said investigators believe the incident might have been a suicide attempt. The deck of the bridge is roughly 60 feet above the water, give or take some distance depending on the water level.
Brown checked on the woman's condition shortly after she arrived at the hospital, he said. Her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, he said.
"I know the bridge is high," Brown said. "I'm surprised she made it from Cape down to Thebes. That's scary."