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Potomac River rowers rescue Key Bridge jumper

(WJLA) -{ }A normal day on the water turned into a harrowing ordeal for two local rowers. They sprang into action to save the life of a man who jumped off the Key Bridge.

Sadie Quarrier and Lena Wang{ }were just putting their oars into the Potomac River at 6:49 a.m. when they heard a splash.

The 100-foot plunge happened two arches away from the Virginia side of the river.{ }Quarrier and Wang{ }rowed to the spot in less than{ }three minutes.

“It was kind of desperate. He was freaking out from impact,” says Quarrier. “At a few points he yanked down (on the oar). We could tip in a heartbeat.”

Tipping their narrow racing shell would mean the rescuers themselves would need to be rescued.{ }

The water temperature was 39 degrees, chilly enough to send{ }the{ }body into cold shock response where{ }it body hyperventilates uncontrollably. If you are submerged you can easily die.

Quarrier called 911 and another two-man boat helped form a more stable float. D.C. Police and the Harbor Patrol met them at a dock 16 minutes after the splash that not only saved a man’s life, but also reassured them about the will to live when given a second chance.

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