Suicide Nets Set for Golden Gate

Board approves barrier to foil jumpers at world's top suicide magnet

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 11, 2008 6:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – A panel has approved a plan to hang nets along the Golden Gate bridge to catch would-be suicides, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The bridge's board voted 14 to 1 in favor of installing the barrier after hearing testimony from psychiatrists, suicide prevention experts, and family members of  people who have leaped from the bridge, believed to be the world's top suicide magnet.

The netting—expected to cost up to $50 million—was a controversial proposal but its supporters pointed to the success of a similar effort at the Empire State Building, and to a study that found 94% of people stopped from jumping off the bridge did not go on to kill themselves elsewhere. Some 2,000 people have jumped from the bridge since it opened in 1937, 19 of them this year.

This rendering provided by the Golden Gate Bridge District shows an exterior east side view of a suicide-blocking net system approved for the Golden Gate Bridge.   (AP Photo/Golden Gate Bridge Distric )
Tourists walk next to a telephone sign on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Golden Gate Bridge officials have voted to hang a stainless steel net below the iconic span to stop suicides.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg )
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