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Homeless man jumps into Mississippi, saves Washington Avenue Bridge jumper

It's a long way down from the Washington Avenue bridge, and the Mississippi River below is deep, and fast-moving.

It's a long way down from the Washington Avenue bridge, and the Mississippi River below is deep, and fast-moving. Michael Hicks/flickr

A woman attempted to take her life by jumping from the Washington Avenue bridge  on the University of Minnesota campus early Saturday morning, the Star Tribune reports.

She survived the 70-foot fall, landing in the Mississippi River. Her plunge into the deep and fast-moving water was heard by a homeless man staying under the bridge, which connects the University's East and West Bank sides. 

Maybe the only person in a position to save the woman's life was, evidently, a strong swimmer. And brave. He dashed into the water to save the woman, University police say, and somehow managed to get her safely back to the river bank. She was taken to a hospital for "treatment and evaluation"; the extent of her injuries was not made public.

Her savior, meanwhile, declined an offer from Minneapolis Fire Department responders to help him find a place to stay, instead returning to his camp, a man down on his luck whose presence and courage was just the stroke of fortune needed to save another person's life.