13 people form human chain to save woman in James River

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A 29-year-old woman has 13 strangers to thank for saving her life on the James River yesterday.

This all started unfolding about 8:30 Thursday night, on Richmond's Tredegar Street along the James. Thirteen people raced to help a woman knocked unconscious.

Fire officials say they're not exactly sure how the woman hit her head, but she has 13 people to thank for their quick actions. As soon as she fell, others in the river raced to her rescue, trying to form a human chain to get to her.

As time was running out, one of the witnesses we talked to said she started turning blue.

They finally reached her and started CPR. By that time, rescue boats arrived, and picked her up. We talked to several people who helped form the human chain.

"We swam over about 100 yards and they were doing CPR, and it took us about 20-30 tries to get her to go...to get  her to come back to life. She was spitting up water and finally the paramedics came," said witness Christopher Wisner.

"I'm just happy to say I was able to do that. To help and assist, you know. Make sure she was alright and everything," said witness Gary Childs.

Since the boats were out in the water, rescuers picked up the 13 people who helped make the human chain and took them to shore. They're all fine. The woman was taken to VCU Medical Center, we're told she's expected to make a full recovery.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.