DNR divers search river for second day

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Crews with the Department of Natural Resources were back searching the Congaree River Friday for a possible person who jumped from the Gervais Street Bridge Thursday morning.

The bridge had been closed for several hours Thursday after someone called in to report a bridge jumper.

Columbia Fire officials say a fisherman heard a splash and a couple of other witnesses said they saw a person in the water around 10:30 a.m.

"One person said that they actually heard a splash and that a fisherman actually had said that he saw someone in the water along with a couple of other of witnesses that said they actually saw someone in the water," said Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins.

Rescue crews from the Richland County Sheriff's Department, Lexington County Sheriff's Department, West Columbia Fire Department, and the Cayce Fire Department were all assisting DNR crews at the scene.

All day Thursday, officials talked about the current conditions of the river and how tough that has made the search.

"The river is not quite flood stage but it's a very high current and right now you just can't get a diver to the bottom," said Sgt. Rhett Bickley with the Department of Natural Resources.

Crews suspended the search Friday around 6 p.m.

Bickley said water flows were backup so they will resume Saturday with boats and a helicopter.

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