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Good Samaritans rescue woman from Tennessee River

The game warden dove into the river before rescue crews arrived.

Posted: Jul 6, 2019 8:56 PM
Updated: Jul 8, 2019 7:43 AM

A woman is now recovering in the hospital thanks to a game warden and two bystanders.

Officials say she jumped into the Tennessee River from the I-65 bridge before they rescued her. They believe the woman was trying to commit suicide. She is currently in the hospital in serious condition.

"We were still in shock. You know, like that's crazy. Something you'd never think would happen," Travis Shankle said.

Shankle and his father were trying to watch a firework display on the river when they heard someone yelling.

"Somebody was screaming for help!" Shankle said.

That's when Travis Shankle and his father jumped into action.

"I was nervous at first when I heard her screaming because I didn't know where it was coming from or what was going on," Shankle said.

It was pitch black in the water. So, it took them around five minutes to find the woman.

"I turned around and shined my headlights off to the river. We see her there screaming and waving her arms. It looked liked she was in there for a long time," Shankle said.

The father, son duo then flagged down a boat down and called 911. But before rescue crews got there, a game warden who happened to be in the area heard the call. He then dove into the river with a life jacket.

"The warden showed up and said 'I know exactly how the water is and where it is. So, i'm going to go in and get her myself,'" Shankle said.

The warden and the woman stayed floating in the river until rescue crews arrived.

Shankle says this 4th of July is one he'll never forget.

"It's going to be the best one I remember helping somebody live to see another day."

Now, he hopes people can learn from this experience to help others.

"Reach out to other people whether it is giving them $5 or help save their life altogether," Shankle said.

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