One Man's Crusade Dents China Suicides

Keeping watch on busy Yangtze bridge has saved 144 lives so far
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 24, 2008 4:15 PM CDT
Chen Si visits a bridge across the Yangtse River each weekend to stop suicide attempts.   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – One bridge over China’s Yangtze River sees hundreds of suicides as the country's rate rises—though fewer since a Nanjing man started spending weekends there saving lives. With 280,000 killing themselves ever year—twice the US total—Chen Si has so far stopped 144 suicides, the Los Angeles Times reports. “All people really need is one person willing to lend a hand,” Chen says.

After saving people, he tries to help with kindness and money. “I always have to tell them there is nothing I can't solve,” Chen says, though "it's a lie” he must tell to keep them going. He hasn’t been able to save everyone, seeing 50 drown. But, binoculars in hand, he continues his weekly mission.