Rescue crews used boats to search for a fully-clothed man in the swift-flowing Tuolumne River after witnesses said he jumped from Modesto’s Ninth Street Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.
More than one person reported seeing a man wearing dark clothing jump from the bridge between Modesto and Ceres at about 1:10 p.m.
Searchers with the Modesto and Stanislaus Consolidated fire departments scoured the river and its banks for two hours from the bridge to another at Carpenter Road, and also used a fancy underwater camera with an onboard viewing screen, but came up empty, said Modesto Fire Department Battalion Chief Randy Anderson.
“The witnesses seemed credible, but we could never find anybody,” Anderson said. “We think, if in fact he did (jump), maybe he was able to pop up and get out.”
Boosted with melted snow from an unusually wet winter, the river has swelled far beyond its usual size and is not expected to subside anytime soon.
Garth Stapley: 209-578-2390