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Dramatic rescue attempt unable to save man who jumped into Milwaukee River

According to the Milwaukee Milwaukee Police Department's twitter account: "Man who jumped from bridge into Milwaukee River died at 4:35 p.m. MPD trying to identify him; make family notifications." Photo: Image by Annie Scholz

Dramatic rescue attempt unable to save man who jumped into Milwaukee River

By Annie Scholz. CREATED Sep 12, 2012 - UPDATED: Sep 12, 2012

MILWAUKEE- A dramatic rescue attempt in downtown Milwaukee was ultimately unsuccessful after a man jumped into the Milwaukee River.

Two brave Samaritans jumped in after that man.  In the end, they couldn't save him.

But their act of heroism was an inspiration to those shocked by what they saw.

A devastating sight for Kristi Jopek, as she witnessed what happened in the moments after a man jumped off the Knapp Street Bridge.

"When all the fire trucks came I went down there to see what was going on and they just brought him up on a stretcher and his body was limp," said Jopek to TODAY'S TMJ4.  "I saw him covered in a sheet and I started crying so I went back to work."

Police aren't releasing many details about the incident that shut down the bridge for about two hours Wednesday afternoon.  All they'll say is that the man died in an apparent suicide.

Lucas Hutchens works nearby and knew something was wrong when he heard the sirens.

"I instantly got shivers in my spine. I was like, oh my God," said Hutchens.

Hutchens told TODAY'S TMJ4 he saw two people jump in after that man in a heroic attempt to save him.  Thankfully, they made it out OK.

"I saw the two Samaritans walk out.  I think the paramedics were around them, but they walked out on their own power, under their own strength."

It was an act of bravery, as others struggle to find sense in the sadness.

"(In) the middle of downtown to do something like that and all the people who are affected, I don't know, it's crazy," said Jopek.

Suicide is a very difficult and delicate subject.  If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help out there, you can find more information by clicking here or calling the Milwaukee County Psychiatric Crisis Line at (414) 257-7222.