34 Golden Gate Bridge jumpers in 2008

January 14, 2009 1:39:01 PM PST
The Marin County Coroner's office reported Tuesday that at least 34 people took their own lives by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008.

The number was nearly identical to 2007, when at least 35 people jumped to their death from the bridge, according to the coroner's office.

Marin County Coroner Ken Holmes said the number of deaths in 2008 may be higher because other jurisdictions have recovered bodies with injuries consistent with such a fall.

The U.S. Coast Guard recovered 20 people in 2008, bringing them to the Marin County coroner's office, and at least two people located in other jurisdictions were identified as individuals who jumped from the bridge. Twelve jumps in which bodies were not found were reported by witnesses or recorded by surveillance cameras.

The number of deaths in 2008 was similar to the last couple years but higher than the average of 24 suicides from the bridge per year, according to the coroner's office.

There have been more than 1,300 fatal jumps from the bridge since it was opened in 1937.

During the last decade, 85 percent of those who have jumped from the bridge were Bay Area residents.

In October, the bridge district approved the installation of a net below the bridge to prevent suicides.