GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — A large presence of first responders gathered at the Gallipolis Public Use Area along the Ohio River on Thursday to attempt to located a female victim who reportedly jumped from the Silver Memorial Bridge last Friday.
The massive effort included a reported 85 first responders, eight search and recuse boats, seven canines and two drone teams which began their efforts around 7 a.m. and ended them shortly after 6 p.m. Unfortunately, the victim was not located.
“I was discouraged with the outcome but happy with the efforts of our 85 first responders who worked diligently all day,” Point Pleasant Fire Chief Jeremy Bryant said.
Local first responders in both Mason and Gallia counties worked together to make contact with additional agencies across West Virginia and Ohio to expand the recovery effort.
Some of the agencies represented on Thursday were the Point Pleasant Fire Department, Gallipolis Fire Department, District Two Fire Department from Gallia County with its dive team, Mason County EMS, the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, the West Virginia State Police, the Gallipolis Police Department, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office with its dive team, the Columbus Police Department with its dive and drone teams, the West Virginia Division of Corrections with its drone team, the Prairie Township Fire Department, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Tyler County Emergency Management Agency with its canine team, Ohio Canine Search and Rescue, and others, including individuals who volunteered to assist.
Bryant said in addition to searching via the river and in the air with the drones, the canine teams walked both sides of the riverbank for several miles. Bryant also reported dive teams did enter the water in areas where there were promising sonar hits but were unable to locate the victim.
Bryant said the search would continue for the victim.
© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.