BALTIMORE, Md. — A man fell into the Inner Harbor Thursday morning and he survived thanks to the kindness of strangers.
Dozens of people are out jogging every morning as the sun comes up over the Inner Harbor but Thursday morning’s daily jog was anything but routine for a group of strangers who stopped to save someone’s life.
Stuart Baldwin said “I went for my jog. I went to Rusty Scupper and I was coming back. As I was about here, I just heard a thunk, and a man had fallen in. There were a couple of other joggers with us, so we all just ran and tried to help him.”
Witnesses said the man told them he was taking pictures just before he slipped and fell into the water.
Baldwin recalled what happened next after another jogger quickly ran to get a life ring from one of the safety stands located around the Inner Harbor.
“That one was empty, so we had to run to the next one. We got the life ring, we threw it to him. He wasn't able to grab it so we had to throw it a couple of other times. Finally, the man was able to grab a hold of it but there wasn't any ladder so we dragged him to a part of the harbor where we could get him up safely,” Baldwin said.
Several minutes passed before first responders arrived on the scene.
Baltimore City Council budget cuts saw the Baltimore Police Department's Marine Unit defunded and disbanded in July.
The unit answered hundreds of calls and made dozens of water rescues about every year before it shut down.
Thanks to a group of bystanders who didn't just stand by and watch but sprang into action, the incident ended as a water rescue and not a recovery.
One of the humble heroes credited instinct more than anything else
“A guy fell in the water. I kind of just ran towards him. I know people have fallen in before. I knew there was life rings around. It was just a matter of getting him one, and calling the police, calling the fire department, and getting someone here to help him and try to get him on land as soon as we could, Baldwin said.
The man who fell in appeared in relatively good spirits in the ambulance.
He was by himself, and despite the injuries he suffered in the fall, he asked if someone could check on his car.
Meanwhile, Baldwin also was out Thursday morning by himself.
“We all got together. We didn't know each other at all, but we knew, hey there's a guy in the water we have to do something so we kind of just did it,” Baldwin said.
A group of strangers who may never see each other again but will have a common bond for life, in the life they saved together.