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Good Samaritans Rescue Jumper

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James Hannell and Harry Rivenbark love to fish and spend time on the Cape Fear River. Usually, they keep to themselves, but Friday, was anything but ordinary. Hannell was on his boat when he says, "All of a sudden the Wilmington Police Department is yelling someone had jumped in and I said to Harry 'look she is only 25 feet away from my boat.'" Hannell just finished towing in his son-in-law's boat, when Officer Amy Gospoderek asked to get in their boat and bring her to a jumper. A bridge tender on the Cape Fear Memorial called 911 just five minutes before, to report the incident. Hannell says, "Your instincts kick in, and it's human nature in a situation like that, and you just do what you got to do." That's when both men helped the officer pull the woman onto their boat. She was lying face down and unconscious in the water. The officers began cpr and transported her to New Hanover Regional. "I know how that cape fear river is, and how that current is, and if she had been there any length of time, she would have floated off," says Hannell. Alec Wessell boats on the river at least three times a week. He says, "This is a dangerous place to be especially when the tide and the current are moving at the same time." Hannell and Rivenbark don't call themselves heroes, and don't expect recognition. Knowing they helped save someone's life the day after Christmas, is rewarding enough. "You know this time of year, a lot of people don't like to be alone, and can't handle to be alone," says Hannell.

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Cape Fear

You have that right.. The Cape Fear albiet beautiful is extremely dangerous.. I have seen new fiberglass boats shredded from logs and trees that float beneath the surface unseen, I have seen squals whip up those 6' waves at the bridge and the currents are so strong I have seen unexperienced boaters take up to an hour trying to get their boats into the wildlife slips.. But the river is as beautiful as it is dangerous and has so much history... Watch these guys in the smaller boats.. They are the one's that know the river and know it well.. These two guys did a wonderful thing by giving someone a second chance and I hope they are blessed for doing it.. They are the heros of the day!

I keep reading this and

I keep reading this and other articles about the jumper out of fear that I know her. On one hand I wish her name was published, but at the same time I don't want to know. God bless the good Samaritans. It's people like them that keep our city together.


Kudos to them and a job well done. Suicide is the most selfish act anyone can attempt as it destroys those around them.. But I wonder how many of those people who had a second chance would utilize it? Hopefully this person will. These gentlemen were selfless and kind and did the right thing... I have fished the Cape Fear for decades.. All the way from the mouth up to lock and Dam #1... Many wouldn't think it, but from the bridge (actually from about where the USCG docks) seaward on, is more dangerous than anyone that doesn't boat that area could imaging.. Horrendous currents are for starters, but seas under the bridge itself on a rising tide can go from flat to 6' in no time flat..Indeed the Cape Fear is to be well respected, and these men obviously respect it and have given a second chance of life to someone.. Kudos to them!