Witnesses say men jumped from Ballard Bridge

Update 8:15 p.m. Rescue crews responded to both sides of the Ship Canal this evening after a report of two men who jumped from the Ballard Bridge. After an hour-long search, rescuers were unable to locate anyone.

“I noticed on my drive home today around 6:30 p.m. two shirtless men, one with grey shaggy hair and a beard jump from the Ballard Bridge,” a My Ballard reader emailed us shortly after the 911 dispatch. “The men looked relatively calm and I believe one of them was smiling as the jumped out from the bridge. They had climbed over the railing and just kinda let go.”

Police and fire boats were called in, and divers were sent into the water to look for the men. Firefighters said they were receiving conflicting information from witnesses about where the men jumped.

An hour after the search began and night began to fall, rescue crews began packing up to leave. Seattle Police told us on the scene that the men may have jumped from the bridge onto the stairwell. A firefighter said another theory was the men jumped and were picked up by a waiting boat.

Southbound traffic on the Ballard Bridge was a mess during the rescue, as fire and police vehicles blocked the west lane. All lanes are open now. (Thanks Adriana for the picture.)

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

53 thoughts to “Witnesses say men jumped from Ballard Bridge”

  1. This is ridiculous. I've been hearing emergency vehicle sirens for the past 45 minutes, and kept looking to see if Fred Meyer's was in flames. It appeared that every emergency vehicle in a five mile radius was responding.
    Then I hear they're responding to an unsubstantiated report that one or two persons jumped from the Ballard Bridge?! Wouldn't a boat search be more productive than blocking the bridge with a herd of emergency vehicles?
    I sincerely hope that no one jumped off of the bridge, but this appears to be a situation where emergency responders were looking for a reason to leave the confines of their respective bases. Then again, it is a beautiful evening for a drive.

  2. I was stuck on the bridge coming home from what I thought would be a quick trip downtown. Two police cars had a truck sandwiched between them that was stopped.

    Nobody else, other than another police vehicle that was blocking the right hand northbound lane was there.

    I wonder if the truck had something to do with it?

  3. Ok, I hate to be the voice of reason (per usual) but two people jump off a bridge that is 15 feet in the air into water that is 73 degrees, and it takes the entire emergency response team from Ballard, Fremont, and Vancouver, B.C. to “rescue” them?

    Meanwhile, a cougar is eating small mammals (including children) near, well, everywhere. And Glenn Beck is getting his own day to call other races “racist” in Mount Vernon.

    We need a swat team, just not in Ballard . . . .



  4. A full Marine Rescue Response is called out due to the nature of the incident. More people = more eyes searching the water. Would you want 2 people looking for you if you were in the water or 30? and FIREFIGHTERS are not wildlife hunters. call the ASPCA that's their job. Anytime you want to do a ride along to see what firefighters do all day let me know i'll set you up.

  5. I agree horseknuckle…15 feet isn't likely to kill you. I find this hard to believe it was a “suicide attempt.” More like an attention-getting gesture.

    Even jumping off the Aurora bridge is no guarantee. (my sis and her rowing partner were once rowing under the Aurora bridge for some sort of film…heard a loud splash..the launch with the film crew called 911 and fished him out. He could've killed the two in the shell! So, they went to work…and the other woman worked at Harborview as a radiologist. Yep, her first client was the jumper. His blood-alcohol was so high it was a miracle he could get a leg over the rail. End of story- he broke about everything possible, but lived.)

    Damn inconvenient to the rest of the world, I say. And you're right…emergency crews have better things to do, and the cougar in Discovery Park is an actual threat to human life.

  6. It's a rescue, the more the merrier.
    Glad it turned out to be (hopefully) just kids playing around but knowing how many are called in for this sort of thing makes me feel a little better about being a non-swimmer in a port city.

  7. But FIREFIGTERS do not get involved in a cougar hunt.( ANIMAL ) Thats the police and other folks with weapons.. what are we gonna do ? hose it down and give it a bath?

  8. Sheesh. I'm a horse, albeit a horse with a sense of humor (and reality). I am not going to jump off a frickin' bridge any more than I am going to run off to Disco Park looking for that nasty, fang-faced nightmare. My eyes are on the side of my head; I'm prey, not predator.

    Mr./Ms./Mrs. SeattleMedic7, I'm sorry. And I apologize for the jackas . . . I mean donkeys who would be stupid enough to launch themselves off the bridge at quitting time (or anytime), thereby putting folks like you in the dangerous position of trying to find/rescue them. If I see them, I will send them immediately to Discovery Park. Slathered in hamburger.

  9. Possibly…considering it's was a nice afternoon. The height of the bridge is less than the height of an Olympic diving board….which should not usually endanger life and limb.

  10. I got caught in that traffic too earlier. But I believe the response was absolutely appropriate. If the two were actually in the water, time is critical. And if it were my loved ones, I'd want the entire police, fire AND wildlife departments searching…

  11. I didn't say firefighters should be dispatched to take care of the cougar! I said that they may have better things to do.

    You have to wonder if this is some sort of stunt. After all, people don't usually jump off bridges in tandem to commit suicide, do they?

  12. back in the day (as has been alluded to by many folks in this thread and otherwise), folks used to jump off this bridge for fun, not as a suicide attempt …

  13. Silver….


    Give it up.

    You post on this site about once every 5 minutes.

    Lose the totally flamer pirate gear and get a girlfriend.

    Sh*t you're boring. Get a F*cking life.

    (Don't bother replying. It will be proof that you're lame.)

  14. From the eyewitness quote, it is very probable they were “bridge jumping”. Kids do it all the time, especially at the Arboretum. The ballard bridge is not that high and it would be hard to get hurt enough to cause a drowning. I agree with the interviewed fireman's theory. The jumpers probably had friends in a boat below waiting for them after the jump. That is why they were not found.

  15. Don't anyone worry about them, they'll be fine. One is showing the other what life would be like if he had never been born, and they'll both be back by dinner.

  16. I wonder if these are the same yahoos that have been tearing down the steep back at Salmon Bay Natural Area (just downstream of the Locks), trampling the newly planted native plants and swimming out to the Locks' finger pier.

  17. Nice! I wonder how much hate mail these guys are going to get for stopping traffic for so long?

    I figured it was a stunt. I remember when we were teens we would jump off the ledge over the Montlake Cut by the Montlake Bridge, and some of our more crazy friends would jump off the Montlake bridge. There's also an abandoned overpass that was never finished being built that kids jump off of and it's probably not that much lower than the Ballard Bridge.

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