Louisiana man who was ‘bored in traffic’ is arrested after leaping 100ft into alligator-infested river sparking an hours-long rescue effort
- Jimmy Ivan Jennings jumped from the Basin Bridge into the Atchafalaya River
- 26-year-old Louisiana man claimed he had been bored while sitting in traffic
- Upon splashing down into the alligator-infested river he found that he could not swim against the current
- Jennings had an ordeal getting back to shore first landing on an island before finding a boat to get back to the mainland
- Authorities found him, he was placed in handcuffs and checked by paramedics
A man from Louisiana who claims to have been bored while sitting in traffic jumped into the alligator-infested Atchafalaya River sparking an hours-long search and rescue effort.
Jimmy Ivan Jennings, 26, was fully clothed as he jumped into the river from the span which is part of interstate 10.
He now realizes how lucky he is to be alive.
Jimmy Ivan Jennings jumped from the Basin Bridge into the Atchafalaya River
The 26-year-old Louisiana man claimed he had been bored while sitting in traffic
Jennings took a running jump before bounding over the barrier of the bridge
‘I started going under and almost drowned a few times. I really and truly thought it was the end of my time. I asked God for forgiveness. I forgave everyone in my life. It was hectic,’ he told the Daily News.
Jennings explained how he had been caught in a traffic jam for more than two hours after a multi-car collision.
He came up with a plan: to jump from the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge and then swim quickly back to shore and jump right back into his friend’s car.
‘We were bored inside the truck… I looked down at the water, and it didn’t seem too far. As soon as my fingertips came off that side, I was like, “Oh my god, this was the stupidest idea.”‘
There followed a drop of several seconds before Jennings his the surface of the water
Jennings grew smaller and smaller as he continued to fall down towards the river
Viral video of Jennings plummeting into the river sees him taking a running jump before hopping over the barrier and then crashing down into the water with an almighty splash.
But a rescue didn’t come fast and he was forced to remain in the alligator-infested water for almost three hours.
‘I was just high on life. Everything was going my way and I’ve seen people do it before only I remembered after I jumped that was in movies,’ he wrote on Facebook.
‘Once I hit the water, my mouth busted open and I hurt my left arm. I tried to swim to the shore, but the current was too strong.
‘An hour and a half in, I was so tired of swimming. My left arm went out. I turned onto my back and would push with my right hand and my legs whenever I went under. I was praying the entire time.’
Upon splashing down into the alligator-infested river he found that he could not swim against the current
Eventually, Jennings was able to swim against the current and crawl back onto the shore of a small island.
He then had to use another board in order to reach the mainland where authorities found him and placed him in handcuffs.
‘They got me with criminal mischief and some other charges. It was crazy to do what I did. But after the fact, after realizing it was a bad idea, everything else I did was in pure survival mode,’ Jennings said.
The man from Lafayette has vowed never to something similar in the future.
‘I don’t even want to swim anymore,’ he said.
Khory Vaughan, a friend of Jennings who was with him at the time of the stunt and recorded the video, told WBRZ, ‘We are familiar with the water and the area, but I don’t think he was prepared for what came with it.’
St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office said Jennings was cited for criminal mischief and criminal trespassing.
Jennings had an ordeal getting back to shore first landing on an island before finding a boat to get back to the mainland
Authorities found him and he was placed in handcuffs and checked by paramedics. He has vowed never to do something similar again