Two men who are among the two percent of people who have survived a jump off the Golden Gate Bridge came together this week to talk about their experiences with ABC 7. Kevin Hines, 36, and Ken Baldwin, 60, both say that they dealt with depression, which led them to decide to take their own lives on the bridge, and both men say they instantly regretted their choice the minute they started their respective jumps.
"I just vaulted over, and I realized, at that moment, this is the stupidest thing I could have done," says Baldwin, who took his fateful jump at the age of 28 in 1985. "Everything could have changed."
"The millisecond my legs cleared it, the millisecond of true free fall: instant regret for my actions," says Hines, who was 19 when he jumped in September, 2000.
Baldwin hit the water in a cannonball position and was saved by a Coast Guard rescuer. Hines hit the water in a seated position and broke his back, but still managed to swim long enough to be rescued by the Coast Guard also.
ABC 7 caught up with the Coast Guard Officer Marcus Butler, now based in Houston, who says he pulled 57 bodies out of the water beneath bridge, and only one live one: Hines.
"And all of us were like, what? He's swimming!" Butler recalls. "And a light switch goes off and this goes from a body recovery to a rescue. It was just a miracle."
Hines wears a T-shirt in the piece with the hashtag #BeHereTomorrow, representing the suicide prevention group Suicide: The Ripple Effect.
Watch the full piece above.
If you are in crisis, text "BAY" to 741741 for free, 24/7, confidential crisis support from Crisis Text Line. And if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you or they should call the San Francisco Suicide Prevention crisis line at (415) 781-0500.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.