jumpers

The new film , ‘The Bridge’deals with the frequent suicides which occur off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The deck is approximately 260 feet (79 m) above the water. After a fall of approximately four seconds jumpers hit the water at some 88 miles per hour (142 km/h), which is nearly always fatal. Most of those who survive the impact die in the frigid water. The filmmakers have received heavy criticism after it was found that the cameras they set up to monitor the bridge activity during filming, in fact captured 23 of the 24 suicides which occurred in 2004.

People have been known to travel to San Francisco specifically to jump off the bridge, and may take a bus or cab to the site; police sometimes find abandoned rental cars in the parking lot. Currents beneath the bridge are very strong, and some jumpers have undoubtedly been washed out to sea without ever being seen. The water may be as cold as 47 °F (8 °C), and great white sharks, which tend to congregate around the Farallon Islands, are sometimes seen under the bridge. There were 34 bridge jump suicides in 2006 whose bodies were recovered, in addition to four jumps which were witnessed but whose bodies were never recovered, and several bodies recovered suspected to be from bridge jumps. The California Highway Patrol removed seventy apparently suicidal people from the bridge that year.

Currently, it is said that a person jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge every 15 days. An additional 200 may be added to the suicide count on the bridge, due to fog, night time jumpers and other jumps which couldn’t be counted.

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~ by k-rock and l-jive on June 30, 2008.

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