The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge by John BatesonThe Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful and most photographed structures in the world. It is also the most deadly.
Since it opened in 1937, more than 1,500 people have died jumping off the bridge, making it the top suicide site on earth. Its also the only international landmark without a suicide barrier. Weaving drama, tragedy, and politics against the backdrop of a world-famous city, The Final Leapis the first book ever written about Golden Gate Bridge suicides.
John Bateson leads us on a fascinating journey that uncovers the reasons for the design decision that led to so many deaths, provides insight into the phenomenon of suicide, and examines arguments for and against a suicide barrier. He tells the stories of those who have died, the few who have survived, and those who have been affected--from loving families to the Coast Guard, from the coroner to suicide prevention advocates.
Golden Gate Bridge hits milestone in 2013 with 46 suicides
Skip to content. A passing sailor and his daughter came to the rescue of a man who jumped from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Scott Walecka, 56, and his daughter were sailing to San Francisco on Monday afternoon when his daughter saw the unidentified man jump, according to the Marin Independent Journal. When Walecka saw the man bobbing underneath a California Highway Patrol helicopter, he raced toward him. The man grabbed a life buoy they threw to him. Both of his legs appeared to be broken from the foot fall from the bridge into the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay.
Adding to a tally of more than 1, deaths, an estimated 46 people leaped to their deaths from the bridge in , the most since its opening according to the San Francisco Chronicle and the county coroner , while suicide prevention group Bridge Rail Foundation cites this year as one of the highest since the s. The death toll is unclear, as the California Highway Patrol stopped counting and releasing the data in out of fear that publicity would encourage more jumpers. Aparicio joined others Monday outside San Francisco City Hall in a demonstration demanding a suicide barrier on the bridge, according to the San Francisco Appeal. Deciding costs for an unprecedented project this expensive is tricky, MTC spokesman John Goodwin added, but those pushing to finalize the safety net say a project that will save so many lives demands an accelerated process. The goal should be to get the net up as quickly as possible. The circumstances of Golden Gate Bridge deaths suggest that many of its suicides were committed impulsively, and some have argued that had there been a barrier, those looking to end their lives would not seek out other means. Research shows that most suicidal people fixate on one means of death … Of the small number of people who have survived jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, nearly all have said afterward that it was the Golden Gate Bridge or nothing.
Just this year, 46 people have jumped to their deaths from the iconic structure, and 1, have died after jumping since it opened in , according to the Bridge Rail Foundation , whose only goal has been to stop the suicides. Until now, the 1. Those who do get picked up by the Coast Guard usually have permanent injuries. Parking lots at both sides of the bridge, as well as pedestrian and bicycle pathways, make it easy to access the bridge. And its railing is only four feet high. In , city officials approved installing a net under the bridge to stem the jumpers, but funding was never approved for its construction.
(Reuters) - San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge marked a milestone in as 46 people leaped to their deaths in what appears to be the.
just me and you and you and me
More in Transportation
In his almost 10 years on the job, Golden Gate Bridge Sgt. Roger Elauria has lost count of the number of distraught people he has assisted off the span., There were 10 confirmed suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge in August.
The Bridge Rail Foundation, which tracks fatalities at the 4,foot-long 1,meter span, said the high number of suicides demonstrates the need for a safety net to be installed to make it more difficult for would-be jumpers to take their own lives there. It is also one of the most lethal, with jumps from the bridge nearly always proving fatal. A spokeswoman for the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, Mary Currie, confirmed that 46 people had committed suicide at the bridge last year, the highest annual total since at least , when she began keeping an unofficial count. Currie said police officers or others had intervened to stop another people from leaping off the span in An analysis published by the San Francisco Chronicle found 40 suicides occurred at the Golden Gate in For now, officials work to prevent suicides with law enforcement officers on bicycle patrols. The total number of people who have jumped to their death from the bridge over the years is unknown, largely because of spotty recordkeeping and because the bodies of some who jump are never recovered, Whitmer said.
The Golden Gate Bridge facing northwest. Fort Point is in the foreground. But the bridge has an imperfection that must be corrected. Every day, more than , people cross the Art Deco style masterpiece via foot, bike, or vehicle. But an average of two people per month never make it to the other side alive. At least 1, people have died after leaping from the bridge, making it the top suicide location in the world.