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Golden Gate Bridge suicide jump survivor describes hitting the water

Golden Gate Bridge suicide jump survivor describes hitting the water

Kevin Hines now shares his story to try and help others

Warning: Contains references to attempted suicide

A man who attempted to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has described what happened when he hit the water.

Kevin Hines is able to recall the moments immediately after he jumped 240 feet from the iconic landmark in September 2000, and now seeks to help others by sharing his story.

Hines climbed on to the Golden Gate Bridge after feeling 'the most horrid, emotional, turmoil' he'd ever experienced, and has remembered since feeling 'compelled' to die until the moment he leapt from the railing.

"I thought it was too late. I said to myself, 'What have I done, I don't want to die'," Hines later said. "I realised I made the greatest mistake of my life."

Hines' fall reached 75 miles per hour on impact, but miraculously, he survived.

"My legs were completely immobile," Hines said while telling his story. "I had shattered my lower vertebrae into shards like glass."

The survivor was plunged 70 feet into the water, and he remembers trying to make it to the surface without the use of his legs, and with just one breath to rely on, because he 'knew [he] wanted to live'.

Hines hopes to inspire other people with his story.

"I break the surface, I bob up and down in the water, I can't stay afloat... I'm going to drown," he remembers.

Hines prayed to God that he would survive the ordeal because he realised he'd 'made a mistake' in trying to take his own life, but he began to think he faced further danger when he realised a creature was circling beneath him in the water.

He thought he was going to be bitten and killed by a shark, but in reality, the creature that started bumping up against him was a sea lion.

Onlookers are said to have thought the sea lion was helping Hines stay afloat, and he was eventually rescued from the water by the Coast Guard.

Following his suicide attempt, Hines decided to share his story with the goal of giving hope to 'at least one individual' so they can say, 'Maybe I can stay here, maybe there are tools to fight this'.

Kevin Hines survived the 70 feet drop from the bridge.
trekandshoot / Alamy Stock Photo

Hines has since produced a documentary, Suicide: The Ripple Effect, which cites research that estimates 115 people will be affected by a single suicide.

Hines has also written a book, Cracked Not Broken, Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in mental health crisis, help is available through Mental Health America. Call or text 988 or chat You can also reach Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741.

You can also call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline.

For UK readers, call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.

Featured Image Credit: AB Forces News Collection / Hugh Threlfall / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: US News, Health, Mental Health