Man drowns after jumping into Monongahela River during party

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A city man who decided to take an early morning swim while partying with his friends drowned early Sunday morning, according to the Allegheny County medical examiner‘‍s office.

A spokesman for the medical examiner identified the victim as Sean Gittins, 23, of Pittsburgh.

The spokesman said the city homicide unit is investigating the incident that was reported at 4:09 a.m. The spokesman said preliminary information indicates Mr. Gittins had been drinking with some friends when he decided to jump from a Gateway Clipper fleet boat that was docked on the Mon River. Lab tests revealing an official cause of death are pending and conclusive results could take up to five months, a spokesman for the medical examiner said.

Authorities confirmed Mr. Gittins was a fleet employee.

According to the Post-Gazette's news partner KDKA, Terry Wirginis, owner of the Gateway Clipper, released the following statement after the death of his employee of five years:

"Sean was a long-term, valued staff member. This is a tragedy we can't explain. Our hearts are with his family and his Gateway Clipper family."

The medical examiner’s spokesman said Mr. Gittins’ friends tried to pull him from the river and called for help. Mr. Gittins was taken to UPMC Mercy where he was pronounced dead at 5:53 a.m.


Karen Kane: kkane@post-gazette.com or at 724-772-9180. First Published July 20, 2014 12:00 AM


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