UPDATE (12/1/17) – Division Chief Matt Knott says fire officials have not resumed looking for the man reported to have fallen into the Rock River off of the Chestnut Street bridge on Thursday. He says they may Friday afternoon.
No person or body was ever recovered Thursday evening. No other injuries were reported.
UPDATE (10:00 p.m.) – “Witnesses state that they saw this person walking across the edge of the bridge, fall into the water. Then we had multiple reports of a victim in the water,” said Rockford Fire Division Chief Matt Knott.
Rockford Fire and their dive team searched for a man Thursday afternoon after he fell into the Rock River, just south of the Chestnut Street Bridge. “We were able to search from the area south of Chestnut St. to the dam. At this time we have not been able to locate anybody,” Knott added.
Crews were called just after 4:20 p.m. and moments later divers where put in the water. However, conditions were not on their side. “Very poor visibility, very poor to no visibility, and very swift currents in the river at this time,” Knott said.
Divers were only allowed ten minutes under the surface because water temperatures reached just 40 degrees. After nearly two hours in the water, crews still were unable to find him. Now the search is suspended until Friday morning. Firefighters are uncertain if the man somehow got out on his own.
“Although it is unlikely that they were able to come out of the water, it is still a possibility,” Knott added. Knott says while the river may look harmless, people should be aware of it’s potential dangers. “The river is a beautiful place to look and see but a very dangerous place to be in. We do encourage everybody to stay back and respect the river and maybe this is another example of that too,” Knott said.
Searches are scheduled to continue Friday morning.
UPDATE (6:30 p.m.) – Rescue operations have been discontinued for the night because of the dark conditions.
A body recovery operation will begin Friday morning.
Rockford Fire and Police are currently conducting a water rescue near the Chestnut Street bridge and Davis Park.
It is unclear how the person got into the water or the condition of the victim. Eyewitness News has a crew at the scene. Police have not released any additional information.
This article will be updated.