2013-02-13 / Front Page

Port Authority Cops Rescue Queens Bridge Jumper

BY Liz Goff

A despondent Long Island woman with a history of emotional problems jumped off the Whitestone Bridge on February 7, but was rescued by a Port Authority harbor crew that happened to be patrolling the area, authorities said.

A Port Authority police spokesperson said Kathleen Bluitt, 57, of Westhampton, plunged 120 feet into the icy waters at about 8 a.m. on February 7.

Port Authority Officer Frank Misa, of the LaGuardia Airport harbor patrol and his partner, Officer Mitchell Richter spotted Bluitt and pulled her to safety, the spokesperson said.

Bluitt suffered a broken leg, but she was coherent prior to being transported to a nearby hospital where she is listed in stable condition, the spokesperson said.

“The frigid water would have killed her if she hadn’t been rescued so quickly,” the spokesperson said. “The officers just happened to be in the right place at the right time to save her life.”

Family members were puzzled when they learned Bluitt had jumped from the Queens span. She lives in Westhampton with her daughter and two grandchildren, family members said.

“It’s sad,” a relative told reporters outside the hospital. “She has battled emotional issues for so long. We are just so grateful to the officers who pulled her from the water.”

A high-ranking Port Authority Police official said the officers exhibited “the best qualities of police officers everywhere, who risk their lives on a daily basis to keep people safe.

“While performing their regular duties, these officers saved a life,” the official said. “How’s that for a normal day at work?”

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