Man dies after falling from Johnson Street Bridge

Police say the man, who witnesses said was intoxicated, lost his balance while climbing on the bridge's railing

A man died early Saturday after climbing a rail on the Johnson Street Bridge and losing his balance.

Victoria police said they received multiple 911 calls about 1:30 a.m. reporting that an intoxicated man had climbed the bridge and fallen into the water below.

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“There were several people nearby and they were trying to give directions to the man to swim to safety,” Const. Matt Rutherford said Saturday.

“Several VicPD officers arrived within two minutes of the 911 calls and attempted to assist the man but, unfortunately, were unsuccessful.”

One officer sustained minor injuries in the process, he said. Rutherford said that as far as he knows, no officers went into the water.

Victoria police no longer have a marine response unit, so a Coast Guard boat was dispatched by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre to help recover the man’s body.

The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating.

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