Thunder Bay·Updated

Police say 20-year-old man in stable condition after rescue from Thunder Bay, Ont., river

A man was taken to Thunder Bay hospital on Wednesday night after being rescued from the Neebing-McIntyre Floodway near May Street.

Police pull man from Neebing River near May Street on Wednesday evening

A man was taken to hospital Wednesday night after being rescued from the Neebing-McIntyre Floodway in Thunder Bay, Ont. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Police in Thunder Bay, Ont., say the 20-year-old man that was rescued from the Neebing-McIntyre Floodway Wednesday evening is in hospital in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

The man was taken to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre after being rescued from the waterway near the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds, along May Street.

A 911 call was made about the man, who Thunder Bay Fire Rescue said was seen struggling in the water at about 8:20 p.m.

Police and firefighters responded, and began searching the river banks on both sides of the May Street bridge. One of the searchers was Thunder Bay Fire Service Platoon Chief Kelly Patterson; he was the one who actually located the man in the water.

Floating face-down

"I stopped my vehicle on top of the bridge, stepped out, looked to the east and immediately saw a body floating face-down in the water," Patterson told CBC News.

He said the body was located about 20 metres east of the May Street bridge.

Paterson notified police officers who were down on the river banks, and two of them — one from each side of the river — immediately went into the water and retrieved the man.

"As they were coming back with him, the pumper six crew tossed them a lifeline and pulled them to shore, where firefighters began with CPR," Patterson said.

CPR continued until paramedics arrived and the man was taken to hospital, police said.

Man appeared to be alone, police said

In a written release issued Thursday afternoon, police said investigators spoke with the man earlier in the day and established that alcohol was a factor. Witnesses reported that the man appeared to be alone at the time of the incident.

Police credited the "quick action by a member of the public who called 911," and noted that first responders were on-scene within three minutes.

Patterson said the man didn't have a pulse when he was pulled from the water, but did have one when he was loaded into the ambulance.

In their update, police noted that officers patrolling along the city's waterways, which have been running since December, 2016, have encountered approximately 50 incidents where intervention has saved lives.