When Kevin Hines was in high school, he started hearing voices. His torment became so intense that he finally decided to kill himself. One day, he heard the voice saying “The Golden Gate Bridge was the easiest way to die.” So he took a bus to the bridge, crying all the way.
Hines stood on the bridge for 40 minutes. No one approached him to ask what was wrong.
“I remember picking the spot. This is the good spot. I’m not too close to the pillar. I won’t hit the pillar. I’m not too close to the land. I won’t hit the land. I’ll hit the water and I’ll die,” Hines said. Then he jumped.
The impact was crushing, and Hines hurtled 40 feet underwater. Miraculously, he survived; and quickly realized he had made a mistake, only to see what he thought was a shark beneath him.
“I was freaking out in those waters. “I really thought it was a shark and that it was going to take off one of my legs,” he recalls.
“Everyone who looked down saw this creature circling in a clockwise motion beneath me. So they saw me laying atop the water and being bumped. The fish was not a shark, but a sea lion.
After the rescue, the coastguard said they had been ‘monitoring and following’ the sea lion. “Without the sea lion keeping him afloat, we would not have known his exact location and would not have got to him before hypothermia or caused him to drown,” They said.
“It was simply this: God, save me. I’ve been given the gift of a second chance of life,” he said.
Kevin Hines speaks to military personnel before deployment.
Hines, now 33, is a mental health advocate who speaks at events around the world in a bid to prevent suicides.
“Suicide crosses all boundaries… every race, creed, color,” he said. “This is absolutely my life’s passion and my life’s work. Suicide prevention is everyone’s business,” he added.
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