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That Body Found Floating Under the Golden Gate Bridge? It Was Synthetic

Written by Olivia Cruz MayedaPublished Jan. 05, 2023 • 12:00pm
SFFD's rescue operation near the Golden Gate Bridge was called off when it was determined the person in need of rescuing was actually a mannequin. | (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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A San Francisco Fire Department rescue unfolded into a dramedy Thursday morning when the subject of the rescue turned out to be more window display material than actual human-in-distress material.

The department tweeted that they were responding to a “person in life jacket in distress” under the Golden Gate Bridge. Just six minutes later, it announced that the rescue was canceled—because the person wasn’t actually a person, but an object more often found wearing the Michael Kors spring capsule collection.

“One realistic training manikin from an unknown source was located and retrieved,” they wrote, using a common misspelling for “mannequin.”

Training dummies like the one that almost had the fire department, the police department and the Coast Guard in full-on Mission: Impossible mode can actually be quite pricey—like, over $1,000 pricey.

Onlookers are left with questions like, where our synthetic, seafaring friend came from and how they ended up in the cold surf beneath the Golden Gate. Still, the region has seen no shortage of daring rescues, like last week’s dramatic incident involving a Tesla that drove off Highway 1 at Devil’s Slide.

“We were happy it was not a person in need of help, and happy someone called 911 quickly thinking it was a real person,” a fire department spokesperson told The Standard by email. “As that could mean the difference between life or death for a real person in distress.”

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