Man saved from Golden Gate Bridge jump by sea lion

A sea lion came to man's aid after failed suicide bid

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

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