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Man in Wheelchair Falls from Stearns Wharf

Bystanders Perform Heroic Water Rescue; Victim in Critical Condition


A man was transported to Cottage Hospital’s Trauma Center in critical condition yesterday afternoon after he fell from the end of Stearns Wharf. It’s unclear at this point how the unidentified victim — a wheelchair user — careened off the edge, and the Santa Barbara Police Department is investigating the incident. Authorities don’t believe foul play was involved.

According to officials, police dispatch received the 9-1-1 call at 2:15 p.m. As fire and ambulance personnel rushed to the scene, two bystanders immediately jumped into the water when they saw the man fall from the area south of the bait shop where there is no railing. They were able to retrieve him from under the wharf just as a Harbor Patrol boat arrived on the scene. The bystanders helped lift the man onto the boat where Harbor Patrol personnel started performing CPR.

The man was then taken to the loading dock on the east side of the wharf where city firefighters and medics continued to treat him before loading him into an ambulance and rushing him to the hospital.

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