Bonus Update: Urban Paddleboarding Emergency! (A Ridiculous Riparian Adventure in Real Time)
I took my stand-up paddleboard out on the Raritan this afternoon-- it's a dirty river, but the boat launch is only a couple hundred yards from my house, so despite the dead seagulls, I try to enjoy it as best I can-- and while when I paddleboard on the ocean, I hope to see dolphins and other beautiful sea life, I don't expect much on the river . . . however, today proved to be very, very different: three minutes after I shoved off from the dock, three fire trucks and an ambulance raced into the park, followed by several other vehicles; one of the fire trucks backed a small boat into the water, loaded with firemen, and they zipped past me and headed towards the nearby Donald Goodkind Bridge . . . and there were emergency vehicles up on the bridge, lights flashing, and a number of people looking down into the water . . . so I yelled to one of the firemen "What's going on?" and he told me that someone jumped off the bridge, apparently following in the footsteps of Detective Vin Markazian-- who leapt to his death off the same bridge in Season 1 of The Sopranos-- so once I found out this information, I kept paddling towards the scene, of course, despite the fact that I had to battle the wake of several boats, because when do you get to see an emergency situation on a stand-up paddleboard?-- and then a boat chugged past me headed the opposite direction, towards the way I came, so I turned and followed it: it was a small fishing skiff with a tiki hut and several corny flags flying that said things like COLD BEER and THE BAR IS OPEN and GONE FISHING . . . but it turns out this unlikely vessel fished the man out of the water, and delivered him to the dock, where he was taken into the ambulance waiting at the foot of the boat launch . . . and I find this slightly sad (and a little ironic) that whoever decided to end their life didn't have a more regal delivery from the murky waters of the Raritan, but I guess that's what you get when you jump off a bridge in Jersey . . . it's no Viking funeral, but it could have been worse . . . he could have been dragged in by a curious dude on a stand-up paddleboard (and I later found out that the man survived, and was actually treading water when the "Good Samaritan" boat rescued him).