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Man rescued from Atchafalaya after viral stunt shows him jumping off Basin Bridge

2 months 1 week 6 days ago Saturday, July 10 2021 Jul 10, 2021 July 10, 2021 5:18 PM July 10, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BUTTE LA ROSE, La. - A man swam for three hours after jumping into the Atchafalaya River from the Basin Bridge Friday.

The stunt went viral on social media, although the act is ill-advised. 

Khory Vaughan, a New Roads native who lives in Kaplan, a small community near Lafayette, told WBRZ he was with Jimmy Jennings, the man who jumped.  The two were stuck in traffic when Jennings made the decision to run from one side of the interstate bridge to the other and jump into the water below.

Jennings later posted on Facebook it was a bad decision, he was sore and was only alive thanks to his faith and rescuers.

Wildlife and Fisheries agents, St. Martin's Sheriff's Patrol and marine units were all searching for Jennings, who was found and then arrested

"We are familiar with the water [and the area], but I don't think he was prepared for what came with it," Vaughan said Saturday in an interview with WBRZ.  "He treaded water for about three hours and started to lose all strength," Vaughan said.

I-10 West was closed for hours Friday afternoon after a 10-vehicle pileup.  Video showed vehicles turning around, traveling the wrong way on I-10 West to get off the Basin Bridge around 6 p.m. Friday.

The man was charged with criminal mischief and criminal trespassing, according to eyewitnesses. 

Wildlife and Fisheries agents were unavailable for comment Saturday. 

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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