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Authorities rescue man who climbed to top of Rip Van Winkle Bridge

Amanda Purcell/Columbia-Greene MediaPolice close the Columbia County side of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge after responding to a call that a man may have climbed to the span's highest point on the eastern side Thursday afternoon
November 28, 2019 04:29 pm Updated: November 28, 2019 04:58 pm


GREENPORT — Authorities were able to talk down a man who climbed to the highest point of the Rip Van Winkle Bridget on the Columbia County side, police said late Thursday afternoon.

Police were called to the bridge at about 3 p.m. after a report of a man who may have been threatening to jump from the mile-long span.

The Hudson Fire Department was called to the scene with its ladder truck to help get the man down, while the department’s dive team took to the Hudson River with their rescue boat.

State police, Greenport Fire Department, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and dozens of other first responders were called to the scene.

The bridge, which was closed to traffic on the Columbia County side, was reopened at around 4:45 p.m.

The man was taken to Columbia Memorial Health, police said. It was not immediately clear if he intended to jump. The man's name has not been released.

Check back for more on this developing story.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.

This story was revised at 4:57 p.m.