Man rescued after falling into Potomac River near Georgetown

May 24, 2011

A man whose pursuit of photographs apparently put him in pretty deep water was pulled from the Potomac River near Georgetown on Tuesday night by rescuers who used a rope, a life ring, divers and a boat.

It was the second time this week that Washington’s river-rescue resources were deployed at the same spot. Sunday night, three people were reported in the river near the Washington Harbour development; one teenager was found on the Washington shore, and two others across the river on Roosevelt Island, authorities said.

In the Tuesday night incident, said Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, a phone call for help came from the Washington Harbour area at about 9:15 p.m.

He said it appeared that a man had been taking pictures as he walked along the edge of the river upstream of the development, near Wisconsin Avenue NW. The man fell, an apparent drop of about 10 feet, and, according to Piringer, was unable to climb back onto shore by himself.

As bystanders gathered, a rescue ring was thrown to him, along with a rope. Two rescue divers also jumped in.

Finally, Piringer said, the District’s fire boat reached the scene and hauled the man from the dark water.

The man, who was not identified, was taken to a nearby boat house where he was being evaluated late Tuesday night by rescue personnel.

It was not immediately clear whether he would be taken to a hospital, Piringer said.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.
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