Teens help man who fell into Clinton River

By: Kristyne E. Demske | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published January 2, 2020


MOUNT CLEMENS — A 52-year-old homeless man was pulled from the Clinton River Dec. 23 with help from two teenage passersby.

Mount Clemens Fire Capt. Gregg Shipman said that the man fell into the Clinton River across from the Fire Department around 2:30 p.m. Dec. 23. The department is located on the banks of the Clinton River at 2 Dickinson St., but on the other side.

“There were two teenage boys who saw it happen, and they ran over,” Shipman said. “He was unable to get out.”

He explained that the water likely numbed the man immediately, and there was no ladder on the seawall nearby for the man to use. From the seawall, the boys held the man up so he wouldn’t go under the water.

“At some point, somebody obviously got a hold of the Fire Department. Our guys went down there and were able to pull him up onto shore,” Shipman said, explaining that because of the weight of his waterlogged clothing and the low level of the river compared to the seawall, it took three firefighters to pull the man out.

The man was taken to McLaren Macomb Hospital, where he was checked and released the same day.

“Had there been thin ice, that whole situation could have been more complicated,” Shipman said.

Without help from the teens, however, the story could have had a different ending.

“With (the seawall) being so far up, there was no way he was going to get out on his own,” Shipman said. “He very quickly could have succumbed to the temperatures and drowned.”

He said that the teens will be presented with a civilian commendation for their efforts at an upcoming Mount Clemens City Commission meeting.