An unidentified woman has died after jumping into New York City’s East River in an apparent suicide attempt, amid frigid temperatures that have left the waterway deadly to those without protective clothing.
The incident transpired Friday evening in Brooklyn, according to the New York Daily News, at a floating pier near North 5th St. in Williamsburg. Around 7:30 p.m., as a ferry approached the dock, witnesses saw the woman plunge into the icy river. Police have revealed that the woman was suicidal, and she refused a life jacket thrown to her by nearby workers, according to the New York Post. The East River’s current carried the woman south, as an NYPD scuba team was dispatched to enter the water.
Following a brief search, the team was able to locate the woman, pulling her from the East River near Kent Avenue and North Sixth Street. After the victim was given CPR at the scene by Fire Department medics, she was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where doctors struggled futilely to save her life.
Record low temperatures have left the East River below 40 degrees, according to officials. They assert that exposure to such cutting temperatures could prove fatal to an individual in just four minutes, unless protective gear is used. The unidentified victim is believed to have been in the river for nearly 20 minutes. One of the divers sent into the water after her was transported to Bellevue Hospital, where he was treated for exposure to the river’s icy conditions.
If you’re a New Yorker you know ice on the Hudson is common but if the East river freezes that means it’s very cold. pic.twitter.com/oNklX2IQU8
— Info_Viking (@megacoolmike) February 21, 2015
FDNY Battalion Chief Paul Tague noted that the search for the woman was hampered not only by the frigid water, but also by ice that has formed in the river amid the low temperatures.
“The hardest part was dealing with the ice,” he noted.
The relentless cold that has gripped the northeast has led to several unprecedented displays in the region’s waterways. In addition to the ice in the East River, a photographer near Nantucket recently captured the sight of ocean waves rolling onto the beach partially frozen. As the Inquisitr previously noted, the highly unusual phenomenon was dubbed “slurpee waves” by some onlookers.
The woman’s fatal plunge into New York’s frigid East River was originally thought to be an accident, before police began to investigate.
[Image: William C. Lopez via the New York Post]