Golden Gate Bridge Suicides - Overview
Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Facts
1,700 confirmed deaths
The Golden Gate Bridge is the top suicide site in the world. Since it opened, there have been more than 1,700 confirmed suicides, and many others that haven’t been confirmed either because a jumper’s body wasn’t recovered or it was recovered far enough away that the death couldn’t be attributed with certainty to the bridge.
In the past five years (2011 to 2015) there have been 184 confirmed suicides, an average of 37 per year or three per month. In addition, 617 people (123 per year or 10 per month) have tried to jump and been stopped by Bridge Patrol and California Highway Patrol officers. Every two-and-a-half days now, on average, someone goes to the bridge and either jumps or tries to.
The Golden Gate Bridge is the only international landmark with a history of suicide jumps in which a suicide deterrent hasn’t been erected. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, Empire State Building in New York, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Duomo in Florence, and Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, among others, have had barriers erected to end a parade of tragic and unnecessary deaths. The Golden Gate Bridge has not. It stands alone today as the world’s deadliest structure.
In October 2008, the board of directors of the Golden Gate Bridge District approved the addition of a suicide deterrent on the bridge—specifically, a marine-grade stainless steel net underneath. It was the first time in history that board members voted in favor of a suicide barrier. At the same time, however, they didn’t approve any funding for it.
In 2013 and 2014, the Bridge District, with the help of the Bridge Rail Foundation, secured $76 million for construction of the net. Architectural and engineering plans were completed, and the project went out to bid in October 2015—nearly five years to the day after it was first approved.
Currently, bids are being considered and a contractor will be chosen shortly. Work is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2016.