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Pedestrians and police band together to save man clinging to Nanaimo bridge

Police responded to reports of a man in distress at the Bastion Street bridge, which connects downtown to the old city quarter over Terminal Avenue, shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday.
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The Bastion Street bridge in Nanaimo in October 2022. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

A man who climbed over the edge of an overpass bridge in downtown Nanaimo was pulled to safety by pedestrians and police officers.

Const. Mike Thompson of the Nanaimo RCMP said police responded to reports of a man in distress at the Bastion Street bridge, which connects downtown to the old city quarter over Terminal Avenue, shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday.

Police arrived to find passersby attempting to speak with the man, who was clinging to a lamppost just off the bridge railing. 

“Responding officers immediately started de-escalation communication with the man while another was able to pull him back over the railing with the assistance of a pedestrian,” Thompson said in a statement. 

Police apprehended the man and took him to a nearby hospital for assistance under the Mental Health Act. 

Thompson thanked those who called 911 and those who assisted police on the bridge. “Today the community of Nanaimo came together to help one of its citizens in need.” 

mjlo@timescolonist.com