Man saved from Golden Gate Bridge jump by sea lion

A Sea lion rests on Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf on September 11, 2013  in San Francisco. The Sea lions have become a favorite attraction for tourists who visit the area.   AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert        (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

A man has told how a sea lion came to his aid when he survived a jump from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Kevin Hines, 33, is now a mental health advocate who speaks at events around the world in a bid to prevent suicides.

Kevin Hines saved from Golden Gate Bridge jump by sea lion

He is currently in Australia for his work, and was this week a keynote speaker at the NSW Police Force biennial conference on improving policing strategies in mental health related cases.

He told how was suffering with depression and mental illness when he jumped off the famous bridge in 2000 at the age of 16.

He said he noticed a creature in the water almost immediately, and first of all thought it was a shark.

According to the Daily Telegraph, he said: "I really thought it was a shark and I thought it was going to take off a leg and I was panicking.

"And then it just didn't, it just kept circling beneath me. I remember floating atop the water and this thing just bumping me, bumping me up.

"This thing beneath me didn't stop or didn't go away until I heard the boat behind me."

According to ABC News, he said: "I was on a show for suicide prevention and I mentioned that I thought there was this shark on this show and a man wrote into the show and he said, 'Kevin, I'm so very glad you're alive, I was less than two feet away from you when you jumped'," he said.

"He said: 'It haunted me until this day; it was no shark, it was a sea lion and the people above looking down believed it to be keeping you afloat until the coast guard brought a ride behind you.'"

Hines added that a woman who saw him jump also helped save his life by immediately calling a friend of hers in the coastguard.

He said that without that phone call, the coastguard would not have known his exact location, and he could have died from hypothermia before they reached him.

Hines added: "I'm one of less than one percent to have survived that fall."

He says he is now passionate about his work around the world trying to prevent suicide through talks and awareness.

Golden Gate Bridge Jump Survivor On Suicide Prevention

Top 20 safest cities in the world
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Man saved from Golden Gate Bridge jump by sea lion

Tokyo is the world's most populous city and the safest. The Japanese capital performs most strongly in the digital security category, three points ahead of Singapore in second place. Tokyo also ranks in the top five for personal safety and infrastructure safety.

Singapore ranks No. 1 in overall personal safety, according to the Index.

Osaka ranks second in personal safety and sixth in health security.

Stockholm ranks 10th in health security and 7th in digital security.

Amsterdam ranks fourth in infrastructure safety and 9th in personal safety.

This Australian city ranks in the top 10 for both infrastructure security and personal safety but lags behind in digital and health security.

Out of the 50 cities, only Zurich and Mexico City get the same rank in the overall index as they do in the indicator that measures the perception of safety among their citizens.

Toronto is a consistent performer across the five indexes. It is is the best city to live in terms of safety, business environment, democracy, food security, cost of living, and livability, according to the Index.

Melbourne ranks 8th in personal safety. It also has the second-safest infrastructure.

New York is the only US city to make it into the top ten of the overall index. It is third for digital security and second for health security.

Hong Kong ranks 4th for digital security and 6th for personal safety but drops to 40th for infrastructure safety.

San Francisco falls from 8th place in digital security to 21st for personal safety.

Taipei comes in 5th place for personal safety and 9th for health safety.

Montreal is ranked as the second-best city to live in overall. It ranks 6th for infrastructure safety.

Barcelona ranks 7th for health security.

Chicago ranks 10th in the category of digital security.

Los Angeles falls from 6th place in digital security to 23rd for personal safety.

London is the highest-ranking European entry in the digital security index.

The capital of America comes in 8th position on the ranking for "best place to live".

Frankfurt ranks 4th for health security.


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Man saved from Golden Gate Bridge jump by sea lion

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