Anti-suicide campaigner’s inspirational video about jumping off Golden Gate Bridge and surviving goes viral
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SAN FRANCISCO, California, February 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A moving video about a Christian teen who regretted his suicide bid between leaping from a landmark and hitting the water has gone viral.
The 10-minute Goalcast video reviewing the life and the near-death of Kevin Hines has been liked or loved by more than 322,000 people on Facebook and has had more than 316,000 views on YouTube since it appeared in November 2020. It contains a special message for people in despair because of the grinding lockdowns:
On September 24, 2000, the then-19-year-old Hines vaulted over a rail on the Golden Gate Bridge and fell 240 feet in four seconds. The boy had time to regret what he had done and cried out to God to save him.
“It was the single worst action I had ever taken,” Hines said later.
“I thought I had to die, and I was wrong.”
The teen crashed into San Francisco Bay feet first, breaking an ankle and shattering his lower vertebrae. As he struggled in the water, he prayed not to drown. To his amazement, and the amazement of onlookers, a sea lion kept him afloat, pushing him above the water until the Coast Guard arrived.
Hines was treated for his physical injuries for a month before being admitted to San Francisco’s Saint Francis Memorial Hospital to receive psychiatric help. Twenty years later, he still struggles with the mental illnesses — including depression and psychosis — that lead him to suicidal thoughts. But today he reaches out for help from a network of friends and family, including his wife Margaret, and he himself is on a mission of hope to help young people who are also suffering from problems that seem insurmountable.
“More teens die by suicide than heart disease, AIDS, pneumonia, the flu, cancer and lung disease combined,” Hines says in the short film.
“And that is a travesty.”
One of the saddest aspects of the day the teenage Hines tried to take his own life was that no one reached out to him. He was in tears on the bus to the Golden Gate bridge, but nobody asked him what was wrong. Blind to his distress on the bridge, a tourist asked him to take her photograph.
Poignantly, Hines’ father took him back to the Golden Gate Bridge a year to the day of his suicide attempt and encouraged him to throw a flower in the water. When he did so, a sea lion popped above the water.