MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Fire Department's Dive Response Team suspended its search for a person who a witness says jumped or dove into the Milwaukee River and began swimming on Wednesday morning, November 5th. That happened near Erie and Milwaukee Streets. Officials say the swimmer might have been pulled under by a current.
"We have several credible witnesses that a young adult male did, in fact, jump from the bridge and appeared to be swimming up river," MFD Assistant Chief Dan Lipski said.
Lipski says a 911 call came in just after 10:30 a.m. Within two minutes, a member of the MFD's Dive Response Team was on scene.
"He ran down the walkway, jumped over a fence, and asked a man that was parked there with a boat, 'where is he? Where is he? Where is he?' And he says, 'his head just went under water.' Our firefighter jumped on that man`s boat and said, 'take me there, right now!' He had a life jacket and a throw bag. The thought was, 'if I can get a rope to this guy, I can save this guy.' Unfortunately, when they got to the spot where the gentleman had gone underwater, he was not visible," Lipski said.
The Milwaukee Fire Department had 10 divers searching for the person -- two divers at a time going into the water. Officials said visibility in the river was poor.
Lipski says after several hours of searching, they were unable to locate anything.
"Obviously it doesn't look like there's much good that can come out of this," Jim Happ said.
Happ was one of dozens watching what was unfolding near Milwaukee's Broadway Bascule Bridge Wednesday afternoon.
"I don`t care how good you can swim in this stuff. It`s cold and it`s not a good thing," Hipp said.
"We have reports that the person was wearing a very poofy jacket that was inflated. Did the person float further downstream before they sunk? We don`t have the answers to that right now," Lipski said.
Milwaukee Fire officials tell FOX6 News the search has been suspended.
We're told sonar equipment was utilized in this search, but Wednesday evening, it was too dark for divers to continue their search.
Fire officials say the search is set to resume Thursday morning.