The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco – Most Popular Place for Suicide

Trying to Jump off the Golden Gate Bridge – A First Hand Experience

Today’s post isn’t funny – in fact it’s quite serious. It’s about The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and the sad reality of how it’s used as means for Suicide.

There has even been a book written about this titled The beautiful bridge of death: Accounts of those who died, or nearly died, in falls from the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you’ve had a chance to walk across The Golden Gate Bridge, you would appreciate the fantastic views of the San Francisco skyline and the island of Alcatraz – assuming that there is no fog smothering the entire region that day.

However, you would definitely see one of these Suicide prevention signs placed next to a phonebox at regular intervals along The Golden Gate Bridge:

crisis-counseling

Well I guess jumping 100 metres off a bridge may cause some minor bruising.

However, I wasn’t prepared to actually see someone try and do this while I was walking over the bridge.  I walked past a couple of policeman who were talking towards Alcatraz, when I realised that they were talking someone who had scaled the fence, threatening to jump off The Golden Gate Bridge.

I could hear the officers saying ‘Don’t do it, it’s not worth it – come back over and we can talk about it.  We can help you out.’

The presence of this man created a scene where a number of patrol boats were alerted, and hence were circling below the potential drop zone under The Golden Gate Bridge – ready to perform a rescue (or most likely, body retrieval) if required.

golden-02

I felt quite ill because I thought the guy might jump – and hence, I would witness a terrible Suicide.  However, after I had walked tens of metres further on, he was still talking.

After half an hour, he climbed back over the fence to safety.  I have a photo of him on the edge of the bridge just before he finished the almost hour long threat of jumping (check the centre of the photo).

golden-01

It made me think – what drove this man to almost take his life?

I felt sad that society had let this man down to the point where he thought he was worthless and wanted to end it all on The Golden Gate Bridge.

Here’s a tip.

If you are feeling really crap, don’t hesitate to call your local crisis line.

People are there to try and help you.  You just need to ask for it.

About Anthony The Travel Tart

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20 Comments

  1. December 15, 2009    

    People can and will find a way to end their lives no matter what and often creatively. I had a close uncle who suffered from schizophrenia and managed to take his life by jumping off of the BAY BRIDGE. I see no need in wasting money on an ultimately useless barrier for the Golden Gate Bridge. Why not utilize the proposed $50 million on our underserved mental health care system? Because, barrier or not, determined folks will certainly utilize something else be it a gun, rope, razor, carbon monoxide, etc… Don’t blame the bridge – blame the disease.

  2. March 2, 2010    

    Sorry the comment I meant for this post wound up on the one below it …

    Anyways, I was saying that – I find I incredibly sad that anyone could come to the belief that their life is without value, especially in the midst of so much beauty. It reminds me of the reports of how people would watch Avatar, then go out and kill themselves because the real world looks to blah compared to Pandora.

    Your life is worth a lot. There ARE people who care about you.
    .-= Dalan´s last blog ..Harvey Flea’s Morrocan Spicecapade =-.

  3. Brennan Brennan
    March 3, 2010    

    My father just called to tell me that my younger brother jumped from this bridge within the last day or so. Suicide is a selfish thing, that leaves everyone else left behind to pick up the peaces. My brother needed help and refused it, he often threatened to kill himself to get attetion. The last we had heard from him was that he was in mental hospital in Oregan, how he got back to San fransico we may never know. I now half to tell my mother, who has bad depression and pray she does not fallow. I love the boy the brother was, I hate the disease that distroyed him. As a child I crossed this bridge to move up in girl scouts, my memories will be forever tarnished. Please God forgive my brother for this horrible sin, he new not what he was doing.

    • March 3, 2010    

      I’m so sorry to hear this Brennan. I found it disturbing watching the experience I wrote about and wanted to show the realities of what goes on. My thoughts are with your family.

    • March 3, 2010    

      Wow, Brennan. So totally sorry to hear about that. There are no words in the whole lexicon of English to say how tragic this news is for you and your family. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

      Once again to anthony, thanks for posting this important article. Maybe you will save some lives.
      .-= Dalan´s last blog ..Harvey Flea’s Morrocan Spicecapade =-.

    • A Caring Heart A Caring Heart
      March 3, 2010    

      Brennan ~ My condolences to you and your family at this time of loss and saddness. I can not imagine what your family is going through. I feel somewhat of a connection to you in that my husband was one of the responding CHP Officers at the scence. Your family had been in ours prayers since my husband told us of this tragedy last night. I am so sorry

    • caring christian caring christian
      May 4, 2010    

      On 5/1/10 about late afternoon, I and people in my church witnessed a man who was hanging on the side of the bridge. The cops were trying to talk him out of it. It was passed 3 hours and he was still standing on the side of the bridge in the water side. We left and didn’t know what happened after.

      If that was your brother, was he wearing blue jeans and red and white jacket? He has dark hair.

      I’m so sorry to hear if that was your brother. May God be with you and comfort you.

      • SB SB
        May 13, 2010    

        I was there on 5/1/10. It was a beautiful afternoon. I have been wondering what happened. It’s been bothering me. Did he live?

  4. A Caring Heart A Caring Heart
    March 3, 2010    

    Brennan ~ My condolences to you and your family at this time of loss and saddness. I can not imagine what your family is going through. I feel somewhat of a connection to you in that my husband was one of the responding CHP Officers at the scence. Your family had been in ours prayers since my husband told us of this tragedy last night. I am so sorry.

  5. Brennan Brennan
    March 5, 2010    

    Thank you all for the prayers

  6. Mich Jones Mich Jones
    May 5, 2010    

    maybe because, there are a lot of emotional people who ended their lives here, the height of the bridge and the water around it, will never let you live.

  7. shalon Maral shalon Maral
    May 10, 2010    

    WOW, I just was at the big Girl Scout Golden gate bridging event yesterday and that is how I stumbled upon this post. I just want to say that you do have good memories of crossing the bridge with Girl Scouts and hopefully you keep those same good memories forever! I am so sorry for your loss as I lost my brother to his terrible mental state and his not having the right mental help, which so many do not. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. July 29, 2010    

    Sorry to hear about the loss. Is this a bridge of the dead? I just hope and pray that the relatives of those who died on this bridge will somehow overcome their bad memories on it. I hope that they will still the wonderful views on it. It’s a wonderful spot after all.

  9. August 6, 2010    

    The last time I walked the Golden Gate must have been before they put those signs up. It’s fascinating that so many use this bridge to end their lives, but very sad. I saw the documentary movie about it and it’s just hard to believe someone could bring themselves to do it.

  10. August 19, 2010    

    “Suicide is not chosen; it happens
    when pain exceeds
    resources for coping with pain.”

  11. Bay Area SEO Bay Area SEO
    August 21, 2010    

    Living in the bay area, I read news stories about this all too often. It is very tragic and rips my heart out. I had not seen the sign the last time I was on the bridge, I am glad to know its there and hope that it helps or causes some people to rethink their decision.

  12. September 2, 2010    

    People really seem to lose the excitement of life and end it with their own hands.

  13. Mark Mark
    September 5, 2010    

    The fact that they even need a sign is crazy. I mean who is going to look at that and think “wow counseling is available I’m not going to jump now”. I guess it keeps the ambulance chasers away.

  14. November 7, 2010    

    It’s really sad when I see people take their lives… I lost a close friend earlier this year to suicide, and can’t ponder why he would leave such a good life.

    Sometimes people feel they’re alone, and noone cares about their problems. Noone calls. Noone sends them emails. Noone talks to them, or asks how are you… everyone is busy with things. Sometimes we, as friends have to reach out and be proactive and give a nudge to someone we know, just ask how they are doing… make life not so lonely to others =)

  15. March 18, 2011    

    Thank you for your blog.
    God Bless.
    In times of stress counseling can help. There is no shame in asking for help during hard times.
    Christian Counseling, Marriage and Pre-marital Counseling in Minneapolis, MN
    We offer a free 30 minute initial consultation. We encourage you to contact us to learn more about our services. Please call us at 763-404-8600. We are located at 3025 Harbor Lane Suite 221, Plymouth, MN 55447.
    http://www.allencounseling.net

    Craig Allen, MA, LMFT

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