WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Police in West Palm Beach believe a body that was pulled from the Intracoastal Waterway on Thursday is that of a man who died trying to save a woman who had jumped into the water the night before.
The incident began at about 7 p.m. Wednesday when officers were called to Currie Park, located in the 2400 block of North Flagler Drive, after a woman jumped into the Intracoastal Waterway.
West Palm Beach police spokesman Mike Jachles said a good Samaritan tried to rescue her but disappeared.
The woman made it out of the water, but the would-be rescuer, a man believed to be between 50-60 years old, did not.
Police said a search for the man then took place involving officers, fire department divers and U.S. Coast Guard crews.
A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office helicopter also assisted in the search, which lasted well after midnight, but there was no sign of the man.
Lisa Stewart, a boater who was visiting the area, said she saw the large law enforcement presence.
"All of a sudden we saw lights everywhere," Stewart said. "They seemed to go from one end of the park to the other end of the park."
Stewart said she was surprised to see so many first responders.
"When we started to see all the helicopters that were circling, that's when we realized we had a real problem," Stewart said.
Man's Body Recovered Day Later
Just after 1 p.m. Thursday, a 911 caller reported seeing a body in the water near the 2800 block of North Flagler Drive.
Detectives, investigators and the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office responded to the scene.
Jachles said they believe that the body of the still-unidentified man is that of the good Samaritan, pending positive identification.
The woman who initially jumped into the water was taken to a hospital Wednesday night for a psychiatric evaluation.
"It just feels tragic," Stewart said. "It's a beautiful area, and the water looks so inviting and safe, and yet we have to always remember it's water. It's dangerous. We have to be so careful."