A District man died last night after he jumped into the C&O Canal in Georgetown in an effort to help his woman companion who had fallen from a lock gate into the water, D.C. police reported.
Bystanders pulled the woman to safety, and police said she was in good condition after being taken to George Washington University Hospital. The man was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital unconscious.
The identity of the man, who police said was in his early forties, was not released until relatives are notified.
The incident occurred just before 10 p.m. when the couple tried to walk across a section of one of the lock gates that crosses the canal just east of 31st Street NW, police said. The wooden gates, about 18 inches thick, control the flow of water in the canal.
Marc Bennani, manager of the Paper Moon, a restaurant on 31st Street, said he rushed to the canal when he heard a woman screaming. He saw a woman in the water struggling to keep her head above the surface. He said he ran to the bank and pulled her out.
Bennani said he saw two other people trying to pull a man from the water and he joined them.
Bennani said the man was unconscious when they pulled him out. He said the woman estimated that he had been under water for about a minute.
Bennani said he and the two bystanders tried to resuscitate the man before rescue personnel arrived to take him to the hospital.
"Everyone did everything they could," Bennani said. "I'm sorry he didn't make it."