Crews give up search for Broad River bridge jumper

After two hours of combing the Broad River, local law enforcement and firefighters called off a search for a man witnesses say jumped from the side of the Broad River Bridge early Tuesday.

“We have terminated our search and rescue operations and turned it over to (the S.C. Department of Natural Resources) for recovery,” said Burton Fire District Deputy Chief Tom Webb as a helicopter from Coast Guard Station Tybee Island circled the skies overhead. “It’s been about two hours and we have conducted a very thorough search of every area he could possibly be in.”

Authorities were called to the bridge at about 9 a.m. where several witnesses reported seeing a man on the side of the bridge before he jumped, leaving a pile of clothes that were later collected by Beaufort County Sheriff’s deputies as evidence.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Robin McIntosh said deputies were assisting firefighters and rescue workers at the scene and deferred details on the incident and information on the suspected jumper to DNR officials.

Boats from Beaufort County Water Search and Rescue, the Parris Island Fire Rescue Division and the Burton Fire District slowly trolled the Broad River looking for any signs of the man as deputies searched the water from the Broad River Boat Landing and atop the bridge with binoculars.

The search was called off at about 11 a.m.