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Mystery Man Flown to Halifax After Suicide Attempt Off Flagler Beach Bridge Fails

| March 19, 2013

Volusia County's Air One rescue helicopter lifts off at 9:56 p.m. from the parking lot of the Moody Boat Launch at the foot of the Flagler Beach bridge, with a man called 'Jim' on board. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive).

Volusia County’s Air One rescue helicopter lifts off at 9:56 p.m. from the parking lot of the Moody Boat Launch at the foot of the Flagler Beach bridge, with a man called ‘Jim’ on board. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive).

Note: the man was subsequently identified as James Clark, 40.

The call came in to Flagler County’s 911 dispatch center around 9:25 p.m.: a body was believed to have been found at the foot of the Flagler Beach bridge. Moments later–after a fisherman who’d been on the west side of the Intracoastal jumped in and brought the man to shore, and as first responders were arriving on scene–they got word that the man was alive. He was brought to shore at the Moody boat launch, at the foot of the bridge on the east side of the Intracoastal.

On the bridge, a witness had seen a man walk away from his motorcycle and move as if to jump. The witness turned around and drove back. But by then, the man was gone. The motorcycle, a Suzuki without a license plate–and, as authorities would later find out, with its VIN number shaved off–was still there. The man had jumped.

The suicide attempt failed.

The man was rescued and placed in a Flagler County Fire Rescue ambulance as Volusia County’s Air One, the rescue helicopter, flew in. (Flagler County Fire Flight goes out of service at 8 p.m.) The man was breathing on his own and was somewhat responsive, even as paramedics worked hard to keep him aware and with them. But he would only say that his name is “Jim.” Nothing more. He is in his early 50s.


The trauma evacuation was necessary, Flagler County Fire Rescue Capt. Ron Bolser said at the scene, because the man had sustained “deceleration injuries” from jumping from 70 feet above the water, and likely some internal injuries. “When they were trying to pull him out of the water,” Bolser said of the people involved in the water rescue, “he was telling somebody to leave him.”

At 9:54 p.m., “Jim” was wheeled out to Air One, and the helicopter flew off moments later. At the scene, a pair of seemingly new boots belonging to the victim was recovered, adding to the puzzle.

The Flagler Beach Fire Department, the Flagler Beach Fire Police and the Flagler Beach Police Department responded, along with Flagler County Fire Rescue and units of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. By close to 10 p.m., a John’s Towing wrecker had picked up the motorcycle, which dangled from the back of the tow truck on its way to the impound yard as the investigation into the case was to continue.

The man jumped off the 70-foot-high Flagler Beach Bridge, landing near that spot in the Intracoastal's relatively still waters. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The man jumped off the 70-foot-high Flagler Beach Bridge, landing near that spot in the Intracoastal’s relatively still waters. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


Rescuers worked on the unidentified victim for half an hour before he was flown off to Halifax Hospital. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Rescuers worked on the unidentified victim for half an hour before he was flown off to Halifax Hospital. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The man had ridden an unmarked motorcycle, a Suziki, to the middle of the bridge before jumping off. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The man had ridden an unmarked motorcycle, a Suzuki, to the middle of the bridge before jumping off. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The man jumped off the south side of the Flagler Beach bridge. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The man jumped off the south side of the Flagler Beach bridge. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


Air One maneuvered around the bridge to land on a small parking lot at its foot. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Air One maneuvered around the bridge to land on a small parking lot at its foot. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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18 Responses for “Mystery Man Flown to Halifax After Suicide Attempt Off Flagler Beach Bridge Fails”

  1. Bill says:

    Not sure he wanted to die, because he jumped into the water. If he wanted to die why not jump to the concrete??

  2. Anonymous says:

    Crazy news day in flagler today

  3. Anonymous says:

    My prayers go out to this man. So many people are in so much emotional pain. My heart hurts for him, and I hope he is able to find his way through and realize a purpose to go on living.

  4. Nancy N. says:

    The headline wording here is bothering me…equating the fact that the jumper lived with failure instead of as a more positive outcome. How about “after surviving suicide attempt off Flagler Beach Bridge”?

  5. Alfred E. Newman says:

    I hope that he recovers fully and takes advantage of a new lease on life.

    I see it everywhere I go – many, many troubled people.
    Some project outward, and some inward like this poor fellow.

    Get well soon Jim.

  6. Delta says:

    This government administration can be BLAMED for all the citizens who have lost their jobs and their savings. You will see thousands more like this unfortunate fellow in the next few years. Its not that they were mental cases, its because their is ” NO WAY OUT ” from this mess. Times are getting REALLY BAD and the war between the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS is about to EXPLODE.

  7. Flaglerresident says:

    Delta, when this “stuff started” or aka/better known as the “great recession” we were in the year of 2006. Who was the President for this year?

    This is when you could not get a decent house in Flagler County unless you shelled out $230,000 dollars for a 1,500 sq ft home.

    What the heck does the government have to do with a man who jumped from the bridge? Maybe, in your view, the government should have had safety nets to prevent people form attempting suicide.

    Regardless, it is not very good idea to think you are going to die from jumping off a bridge this low and into the water. People (kids/teenagers) do this all the time and swim to shore. I have personally witnessed a group of kids jump at night and swim right up to the shore and walk away. Also, I have seen two people jump from the toll bridge, one I was scared was going to land into my boat (because they did not see me down on the water at night). At least you got a helicopter ride out of this circus of events!

  8. Bill says:

    Call it what you will, suicide or attention getting, I’ve seen and know kids that jump off this bridge for fun.

  9. Rach says:

    To the fisherman at the Flagler beach bridge, thanks for saving “Jims” life! <3

  10. blondee says:

    We have no idea what was going on in this persons life. Let’s not ASSume anything!

  11. shell says:

    whoever saved him i want to say thankyou i wish i knew how to contact his hero

  12. confidential says:

    @Delta …First I hope Jim recovers and receives the help he needs. As for blame; please not this administration but the GOP past Pres, current Congress and Senate. 40 years of undermining our middle class and poor in favor of the wealthy 1%. http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/03/19/VIDEO-Elizabeth-Warren-Minimum-wage-would-be-22-if-tied-to-productivity/4401363699710/

  13. Jack says:

    Great reporting again!

  14. brattlike says:

    Hope that Jim is baker acted after he is medically cleared so he can get the help he needs. Hope you get the help you need to heal and not feel that suicide is your only option Jim.

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