HAVERHILL, Mass. — Authorities say a man who bragged he could swim across the Merrimack River in Haverhill has died in the attempt.

The body of the man was pulled from the waters near the Basiliere Bridge about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, about two hours after he jumped in.

A witness tells The Eagle-Tribune the man climbed over a railing and was boasting he could swim across the river, and fought off people who tried to stop him.

“I kept telling him ‘Man, don’t do it.’ Nobody can swim across that river,” the witness said, according to the newspaper. “He jumped in. He got way up there and then started yelling ‘Help me! Help me! Help Me!”

Police identified the drowned man Monday as Calvin Adams, 53, Haverhill.

State police dive team members arrived on the scene and began searching the river about 10 p.m.

The area where Adams jumped in is known as a place where the homeless gather. Police didn’t immediately release any information about the victim other than his name.

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