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Chilly, drunken swim ends at Lemon Creek without charges

Posted: Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A man went for an ill-advised, chilly swim in the Gastineau Channel mid-morning on Sunday and ended up being rescued by a combination of yachters and local emergency responders.

Terri Gregson / For The Juneau Empire
Terri Gregson / For The Juneau Empire

Terri Gregson, who was present at the event, said the man walked down to the driveway of Edgewater Condos, "extended his middle finger in the air and walked into the channel."

Then, Gregson said, he began to swim toward one of the two yachts anchored there.

Gregson said after about five minutes, the man went under and bystanders feared he wouldn't come back up.

He did, however, and was thrown a life ring by someone on a nearby yacht. He was then picked up by the Coast Guard and taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital for evaluation.

"He was very cold and intoxicated," said Juneau Police Department Sergeant David Campbell, who responded to the call, which the department received at 10:20 a.m. Campbell said other than a superficial scratch on his hand, the man had no visible injuries.

Campbell said the police department is not releasing the man's name. He is not being charged with anything.

The man was then taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center, where he was held for 12 hours.

"He didn't have anybody to watch out for him or anyplace to go, so we put him in for his own protection," Campbell said.

Asked if the man gave an explanation for his actions, Campbell said "He told me he went for a swim."

• Contact reporter Mary Catharine Martin at 523-2276 or maryc. martin@juneauempire.com.



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