The Golden Gate Bridge suicide phenomenon

A man named Eric Steel has stubbornly filmed the jumping suicides of 24 people from the Golden Gate Bridge in 2004.
I’m not sure anyone wants to watch this.
I happen to have a been a city resident at the time, doing diabetes research. I never saw a jumper, but a running friend had. This person saw a guy who was just poised, and, with no warning, sprang over the edge of the bridge, hands-free. Apparently all sorts of people saw it.
I always figured that if I were to do the deed, I’d jump. Messy if not done over water, certainly. I”m just too much of a wimp to deal with with the final seconds, in which virtually everyone reconsiders. Takng one’s own life is just contrary to biology, after all.
I’m reminded of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which connects Pinellas County in Florida with Manatee County via I-275. I thought more than once of leaping off that fucker into Tampa Bay. No one lives through that.
Editorializing, the Skyway is a freakish and scary structure to cross. Like the Golden Gate, there is camera monitoring on the highest span, and a cop is always there to talk jumpers down. Of course, if someone wants to park his car on top of the bridge, get out, and jump apace, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
In May of 1980, in one of the most notable bridge disasters ever, a freight boat crashed into a pier of the old Skyway during a storm, knocking out a quarter-mile long span of the bridge. 35 people died (a Greyhound bus was on the span at the time). I was ten years old and remember it well because I was such a bridge nut. The entrance to the old bridge has been converted into a park, and many people fish there.

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  1. #1 by Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM on November 20, 2008 - 11:26 am

    I think we’ve had a few jumpers off our “new” bridge in Charleston. There’s only a steel fence that can be easily climbed. I’ve never seen a cop up there when I’ve crossed it and a jump would surely be fatal.

  2. #2 by phil on November 20, 2008 - 8:42 pm

    we had a jumper just this morning, 11.20.08. we have been running this site for 10 years now and are no closer to understanding it’s allure.

  3. #3 by hopikrishnan on November 24, 2008 - 8:57 am

    didnt they approve funding for a suicide net at the GG bridge of SFO recently ? We have jumpers in Tokyo Bay Bridge — a really nice way to go when one considers the other options: a short knife thrust up from under the rib cage followed by a twist of the handle or jumping from an unguarded railway platform in front of an express train that doesnt stop in that podunk station.

  4. #4 by Neuroskeptic on November 25, 2008 - 5:42 am

    The Bridge is a brilliant, very moving movie – although obviously, it’s not easy viewing. But I was glad I watched it.

  5. #5 by patrick kevin hines on January 19, 2009 - 1:30 pm

    I am shocked !
    I happened upon this and if indeed you are a doctor your license to practice medicine was fraudlently obtained.
    One person dies every week at the Golden Gate Bridge. For 75 years the Bridge Authorities have ignored the horror. Eric Steel had the courage to investigate document and testify as to the carnage.
    But even with his compelling work the Bridge Authorities still – refuse to do shoulder their responsibility for the deaths of over 3,000.
    … and no nothing has changed – but the manipulation of the media – the Bridge Authorities “voted” to do something but when and how – is never…

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