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.
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.
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.
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