31 suicides from Golden Gate Bridge last year

January 21, 2010 1:29:41 PM PST
Thirty-one people committed suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge last year, Marin County Coroner Ken Holmes said this week in his annual report on the suicides.

There were 34 reported suicides in 2008 and there have been more than 1,300 over the past 72 years, Holmes said.

"Last year, 31 people took their lives at the Golden Gate Bridge, completing a decade of tragedy with hundreds of lives lost for want of a proper safety rail or net," Holmes said in a news release.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District is seeking funding for a $50 million net system under the bridge to capture jumpers. The final environmental impact report on the suicide barrier has not yet been released or certified.

The 31 suicides include 20 bodies recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard and taken to the Marin County coroner's office. In nine cases, the body was either recovered in another county or not recovered at all but the death was witnessed or captured by security cameras.

The two other cases consisted of disappearances in which a suicide note or personal effects left on the Bridge, Holmes said.

Holmes said the numbers are conservative because many suicides from the bridge are never recorded.

"As a result, the full magnitude of this problem on the Golden Gate Bridge is not yet clear," Holmes said.