“He put his life on the line to save another person’s life,” said Lt. Rodney McQuate of the Portsmouth Police Department March 8.

McQuate was talking about Davin Robinson, who stopped March 5 to help a man who was on the verge of jumping from the bridge that spans from Portsmouth, N.H. to Kittery, Maine.

Robinson, 50, works as a software engineer in Wilbraham, Mass. He said he began working on a home in Friendship about two and half years ago and plans to retire there one day.

On March 5, Robinson was on his way up the Interstate to Maine when he spotted a man on the side of the road bringing a liquor bottle to his lips. Robinson said he decided to stop to make sure the man was OK. By the time Robinson got out of his vehicle, the man had climbed over the railing and was precariously close to the drop from the bridge.

Robinson said he dialed 911, but probably ended up hanging up on the dispatchers.

“Things were going to happen a little too fast,” Robinson said.

The motorist said his goal was to talk to the distraught man while moving in close enough to grab him and stop him from going over the edge.

“I called out to him to get his attention quickly,” Robinson said.

Given the excitement of the moment, Robinson said, he can’t remember exactly what was said. He said he tried to talk to the man to get him to come back over the railing to safety. As the man was standing on the outside of the railing, facing away from the drop, Robinson reached out and caught him under the armpits.

Robinson said the man just slumped down. “He was like a broken person,” Robinson said.

All Robinson could think of to get the man to hold on was to ask him for one last hug. The man embraced him, and Robinson pulled him over the railing back to safety. There he had to hold the man as he struggled back toward the drop.

A woman and her son stopped and helped console the man. At that point, Robinson said, he was just happy to have reinforcements. He said he was getting tired from holding the man and the woman helped relax him so he would stop struggling.

Eventually the police arrived and Robinson said the officers were very professional.

McQuate said Robinson is absolutely a hero.

“He could have been pulled off the bridge, easily,” McQuate said of Robinson.

Robinson said he didn’t feel shaken up until later when he had time to think about the incident. He said he is an experienced rock climber and never felt he was in danger of going over.

“Anyone would have helped,” Robinson said. “It’s natural human instinct.”

Robinson works as a software engineer with schools, municipalities and police departments. He said he has seen through his work the struggles some people face.

Robinson said not everyone has had the same good fortune in life. “It could be you or me,” he said. “We think we’re invulnerable, but we’re not.”

Robinson lives with his wife, Diane. He has two stepchildren and three grandchildren. His father, John Robinson, lives in Friendship.