A bipolar sufferer, who is now a worldwide speaker on mental health issues, claims he was saved by a sea lion after he jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge in an attempt to take his own life.
Kevin Hines, who was just 21 at the time he tried to commit suicide, says he was kept afloat by a sea lion which came to his rescue after he plunged into the water until coastguards arrived to assist him.
Even though he survived the suicide attempt, which took place in September, 2000, Hines almost lost the ability to walk and underwent extensive surgery on his back following the jump.
Hines told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the following in a recent interview.
“I guess you would call it a mammal began swimming beneath me and I’m thinking, ‘Oh man, a shark is about to devour me.’ 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: “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.”
A passerby who happened to see Hines jump raised the alarm, otherwise, he could have died from the freezing water in just a few hours.
According to Hines, he is one of just 34 people who ever survived jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, which sits above the San Francisco Bay.
Back in 2013, Hines posted a blog where he talked about being saved by the sea lion.
“There are a large number of reporters and speculators who have claimed it was really a seal, and even those who have claimed that there was nothing but me in that water. However, I know that it was a sea lion and it is not a statistic anomaly. Marine animals (dolphins, sea lions) and other creatures have helped save humans and other animals from dangerous situations all over the world.”