For The Victims

 

Kevin Hines Story

The morning I jumped, I had been in a deep depression for days. This was a result of bipolar disorder, for which I was taking a number of meds. My father sensed something was wrong, but I brushed him off. I left the house, grabbed a last meal of Skittles and Starbursts and took Muni to the Golden Gate Bridge.

I was a mess on the Bridge, crying and disoriented. No one stopped to ask what was wrong. Finally, a tourist with a heavy European accent stopped me, she wanted her picture taken. I agreed. Five snapshots later, I was still crying and she was done and gone. I knew no one cared. I took a step back and hurled myself over the short rail.

Once airborne, I had four seconds left. I knew immediately I did not want to die. Thoughts racing, I tried to angle my body to survive. I guessed right. I hit the water at 75 miles per hour, and did not lose consciousness. I tried to swim to the surface, but my legs were numb and useless. My arms were enough to get me to the surface, but I could not stay afloat. Suddenly, I felt a large sea animal brush against me. Great, I thought, I jump off the Bridge and now a shark will eat me. Witnesses later told me it was a sea lion, nudging me to the surface.

The Coast Guard picked me out of the water, checked me out, and shipped me off to Marin General Hospital. I had multiple injuries and it was not clear that I would survive the next 24 hours.

Obviously, I survived, and I thank God.

My hospital stay was weeks long, and one regular visitor was a Franciscan monk. We talked and he suggested that I was spared for a reason, perhaps to tell my story, maybe to help put an end to almost 70 years of preventable deaths off the Bridge. I am working now to do that, through several groups pushing for a suicide barrier on the Bridge. I also work in the schools, telling my story, counseling at-risk youth, and organizing special outreach efforts.

But I need your help too. We have come a long way in the last several years, but there is a long way to go. Please consider what you can do to end the on-going Golden Gate Bridge tragedies—your efforts can save lives and ensure that the needless pain and grief visited upon so many families will stop.

Thank You,

Kevin Hines

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Next Steps

With the determination that the net will have no significant impact on the environment, and funding to complete the design work — only one major hurdle remains before we will see the suicides at the bridge stopped — the $50 million needed to build the project.

Providing the information and background needed to secure these funds is the work of the Bridge Rail Foundation. To request information on how you can help - Please contact us via email - info@bridgerail.org - or through our online form.

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