Golden Gate Bridge jumper rescued by passing sailors


A father-daughter sailing duo came to the rescue of a man who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on May 20, 2013.


Justin Sullivan

A passing sailor and his daughter came to the rescue of a man who jumped from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Scott Walecka, 56, and his daughter were sailing to San Francisco on Monday afternoon when his daughter saw the unidentified man jump, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

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Moments later, they heard a Coast Guard call for a jumper in the water.

When Walecka saw the man bobbing underneath a California Highway Patrol helicopter, he raced toward him.

The man grabbed a life buoy they threw to him. Both of his legs appeared to be broken from the 220-foot fall from the bridge into the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay.

"He was alive and wanted to be rescued," Walecka told the Santa Cruz Journal. "We threw a life sling out to it. He grabbed on to it, and he was hand-over-hand on the rope to get to the back of the boat."

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The man, who authorities said is homeless and in his early 30s, was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

The Golden Gate Bridge has been a magnet for suicides since it was completed in 1937.

According to local suicide prevention group The Bridge Rail Foundation, an estimated 1,600 people have jumped to their deaths from the iconic landmark —more than any other location in the world.