MANATEE -- A 61-year-old woman survived after jumping off the DeSoto Bridge into the Manatee River in Bradenton in a suicide try about 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, according to Bradenton police.
A 911 caller reported the woman jumped off the southbound side of the bridge.
Moments after jumping, the woman was rescued by a man who had been test driving a jet ski. She was later taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital where she is being evaluated, according to Bradenton police Lt. Brian Thiers.
The woman appeared to have a broken arm and scratches, police said.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The right lane of traffic on the southbound side of the bridge was blocked until about 11 a.m. when the woman's red 2008 Mazda Z3 was towed.
Michael Mastroianni, 26, and Jeromy Dahlem, 31, were loading two jet skis they were testing for customers at Action Kawaski in Bradenton onto a trailer at a boat ramp near the DeSoto Bridge. A woman who saw the jump ran and told them.
The men quickly unloaded a jet ski off the trailer, and Mastroianni rushed to where the woman was in the water.
"I pulled up to her and she was floating in the water. I told her to jump onto the ski," Mastroianni said. "She was a bit hesitant, but she didn't want to swim back to shore."
He helped her onto the back of the watercraft and drove back to the boat ramp.
The men said she was bleeding a lot and it looked like she hit rocks in the river.
"She was just having a bad day, it looked like," Mastroianni said.
The men and police on scene described the woman as feisty or angry after the rescue.
One witness said they saw the woman before the jump.
Stephen Jordan was driving behind the victim when she suddenly stopped her car, got out, opened her trunk and appeared to search for something. Jordan got out of their car and asked the woman if she was alright.
"She said something I couldn't make out," Jordan said. "Before I could say anything, she threw off her sunglasses and jumped off feet first."
The victim appeared angry or upset, said Jordan, a nursing student.
"It seemed like she was going through something," Jordan said.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.