Agate Passage Bridge jumper scare prompts robust emergency response

The woman reportedly told officers she had been standing outside the railing, thinking about jumping

Multiple law enforcement and emergency response agencies sprang into action June 19, in response to a possibly suicidal woman standing outside the barrier of the Agate Passage Bridge around 8:30 a.m.

The 39-year-old Suquamish woman told a responding officer that her father had passed away recently and she had been out getting some air, according to a Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office incident report. She also told the officer that she had been standing on the edge of the bridge, “thinking about jumping,” the report reads.

Michele Laboda, a spokesperson for North Kitsap Fire & Rescue commended the work of the responding agencies during the incident.

“It was quite a multi-agency effort,” Laboda said. “It’s my understanding that our boat was underway out of Kingston, Poulsbo Fire [Department’s] boat was underway out of Poulsbo, Bainbridge Fire [Department] had a rescue swimmer on the beach.” Meanwhile ashore, responders blocked access to the bridge in both directions. Traffic on the Suquamish and Bainbridge Island sides were brought to a standstill.

The marine response, Laboda said, was a precautionary measure in case the woman had decided to leap from the bridge and fortunately one that was not ultimately needed. A spokesperson with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office estimated that morning commuter traffic was held up for approximately 20 minutes while emergency personnel assessed the woman, after she reportedly complied with a responding officer and entered a nearby ambulance. The woman was transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

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