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A guy heard on the police scanner a woman was drowning – so he saved her

He heard on the police scanner that someone needed help.

Listening to the police scanner is not just a way to while away some idle time. In Duluth on Sunday night a man who heard a dispatch call about someone possibly drowning in the St. Louis River decided he should go save her. 

And he did. 

The St. Louis County Sheriff's office says the call came in a little after 8:30 p.m. The first officers to arrive at Blackmer Park could see the woman in the river about 100 yards from shore. 

And that's when "a good Samaritan" arrived, the sheriff's office says. The man – later identified as Noah Vanriper – told the officers he was comfortable jumping into the river to rescue her. 

When Vanriper returned to the riverbank with the 52-year-old woman, she was alert and talked to the emergency personnel. They brought her to the hospital to have her non-critical injuries checked out. 

Vanriper, who the News Tribune says is 36, told the authorities about having heard the call on the scanner.

The sheriff's office says deputies later learned the woman had jumped into the river in an attempted suicide. 

Second rescue in two weeks

The river rescue marked the second time in a week that a Minnesotan had been saved from a possible suicide. 

Last week, a St. Paul firefighter pulled a young woman to safety as she stood outside the railing of a bridge over the Mississippi River. 

But even with two rescues in a week, Minnesota's suicide trend is not encouraging. The most recent numbers for a full year are from 2015 and show adult suicides in the state reaching a 30-year high

The 726 suicides that year were up 6 percent from 2014, the Minnesota Department of Health said.

People with suicidal thoughts can get help through groups like NAMI Minnesota or Mental Health Minnesota.

You can always talk to someone by calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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