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:
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.
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).
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.