Exclusive: Rescue in Schuylkill River

CENTER CITY - August 2, 2011

Two men could be seen in the murky water, clinging on to a life preserver tossed to them by police.

One of the men had jumped, the other jumped in to save him.

The Good Samaritan was 56-year-old Claudius Dixon of South Philadelphia.

He was just hanging out along the banks of the Schuylkill when he saw the other man jump from the Market Street Bridge around noon.

"It looked like someone threw a body from off of the bridge, so I jumped up and ran down there and I see a head come out of the water so I started hollering for help," Dixon said.

Dixon didn't hesitate. He removed his pants and shoes and got into the water, swimming through the current, to rescue the man who had jumped.

"It's frightening, that water is some frightening stuff; nobody wants to play in that water," Dixon said.

Police helped pull the two men from the Schuylkill.

The man who jumped was talking incoherently as he was put into the back of a waiting police car.

Dixon was taken to the hospital to get checked out.

He tells Action News this was not the first time he saved someone who jumped into the Schuylkill River.

"About a year ago, a lady jumped into the river a little further down, and I went in to get her out, and some other guy came to help me get her out, also, so this is my second time, but this is the roughest one," Dixon said. "I pray to God I will never have to do this again."

Dixon says he is unemployed and makes his living doing odd jobs along South Street.

Police say the man who jumped is from Reno, Nevada and just wanted to go swimming.

He's been admitted to a psychiatric unit.

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