Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Woman rescued after jumping from Sunshine Skyway

ST. PETERSBURG — Charter boat fishing captain Kris Winkel and three passengers were near the Sunshine Skyway bridge, heading out for tarpon early Thursday, when they heard screams.

Winkel looked up at the Skyway and saw nothing.

Straight ahead he noticed what appeared to be a crab trap. Until it started waving.

"She just lifted her arm up," Winkel said.

He steered close. Two passengers pulled the woman aboard and placed her on the deck.

Her eyes were dilated and wild, Winkel said, and she appeared to be in her mid 20s.

The impact of the fall from the Skyway tore off most of her clothes.

"She only had on shorts and a sock on her foot," Winkel said. They wrapped her in T-shirts and called police.

"I don't know if she was thinking straight," Winkel said. She told the men about wanting to avoid the "insane asylum.''

A St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue boat soon came to take woman to shore. She was listed in critical condition Bayfront Medical Center, officials said.

The woman's gold, late-model Saturn, left in a southbound lane of the bridge, was monitored by a traffic camera about 7:20 a.m. Thursday.

She sat on the edge of the bridge near the top deck and jumped into the water about 174 feet below, Fire and Rescue officials said.

The impact from that plunge into the water has killed more than 200 people, according to the website skywaybridge.com, and only 34 jumpers have survived.

For Winkel, the plan that morning was to reel in some tarpon.

For as much as $500, he gives guided fishing tours in Tampa Bay.

"Only one guy was kind of shaken up," Winkel said.

So they went fishing.

Michael Finch II can be reached at mfinch@tampabay.com and on Twitter at @mike_finch2.

>>

Suicide warning signs

• Among the signs are dramatic mood swings, withdrawing from family or friends, uncontrolled anger, hopelessness, insomnia, recklessness and mentioning thoughts of death.

• If you suspect someone is thinking of suicide, ask directly if the person has thought of hurting himself or has made a plan to do so. If the answer is yes, immediately call for help and do not leave that person alone.

• Call 911 or 211 to reach the nearest crisis center or toll-free, 1-800-273-8255, to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Woman rescued after jumping from Sunshine Skyway 07/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 5, 2012 10:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  2. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  3. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  4. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …

  5. Photo gallery: 20 mugshots of pro athletes arrested in Florida - 1994 to 2017

    News

    In light of today's arrest of Tiger Woods in Jupiter, Florida on DUI charges, here are 20 booking mugs of professional athletes who have been arrested in Florida, from 1994 (Jennifer …

    Desmond Bryant - 2005 - Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was arrested in Miami on charges of criminal mischief after allegedly "going to a neighbor's house inebriated and causing a commotion."