CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman who was walking her dog jumped into action going into the Chicago River to save a drowning man, and the dramatic moments were all caught on camera.
“I picked up my little dog, climbed over this fence and went down,” said Julie Macholz.
She jumped in to rescue the 36-year-old man struggling to stay afloat.
“I peaked over and saw the man, and he was in the water. And he was actually submerging, coming up and bobbing up and down,” she said. “I knew he was in big trouble.”
The man was pushed far out into the river by the outflow current.
“I had the ring in one hand and him in the other,” Macholz said.
But she isn’t just any passerby.
“I was a lifeguard in high school and water safety instructor and a lifeguard in college,” she said. “I’m military trained. I’m a retired Naval aviator.”
A woman walking the dog yesterday stumbled upon a man struggling to stay afloat in the Chicago River.
She just so happens to be a former navy jet pilot.
Police say the 36-year-old-man jumped in a suicide attempt.
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) May 30, 2020
Macholz served in the Navy as a jet pilot.
“I’m trained to think on my feet in an emergency,” she said.
The man was eventually taken away on a stretcher. Police say the 36-year-old jumped in a suicide attempt.
“I keep trying to get updates to see how he’s doing. I hope he gets a second chance at life,” Macholz said.
The man was taken to Northwestern Hospital in serious condition.