Published DateLACONIA — A 37-year-old woman Belmont woman who jumped into the Winnipesaukee River early yesterday evening was quickly pulled to safety by a fisherman, police reported.
Laconia police identified the woman as Melanie Sweeney. They said Sweeney attempted to jump off the footbridge behind City Hall around 6:10 p.m. and was pulled off the bridge railing by two fisherman, whereupon she ran to the end of the bridge and then jumped head-first from the embankment into the river, police said in a statement released to the news media. One of the fishermen, Daniel Lyle, 33, of Summer Street, Laconia, jumped into the river and pulled Sweeney to the river bank and waited for emergency medical personnel to arrive. When EMTs arrived, Sweeney was breathing, but unresponsive. She was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries, police reported.
Paige Thompson, who runs Too Good To Be Threw at 84 Union Ave., told the Daily Sun she was just closing up her shop when a man with a dog came into her shop and told her what was happening. She said he told her he saw the woman jump.
Thompson said she saw Lyle holding Sweeney by the river bank and she offered him the warmth of her shop. "He was just walking like he was in a trance," she said.
Fire Lt. Lisa Baldini said firefighters were able to get through the building to reach Sweeney who was on the banking of the river on the Union Avenue side.
"Fortunately we had access to that building," she said.
Baldini said the water is extremely cold through there at all times of the year and very cold this time of year. "She maybe only had a couple of more minutes," Baldini said.
She said Lyle declined to be transported but was evaluated by firefighters. She said he just wanted to get out of there. She said he was wet and cold but otherwise seemed fine.