SAN FRANCISCO April 18, 2011 — -- A teenage girl who plummeted from the Golden Gate Bridge was recuperating in a hospital today, making her the second teenager to survive a fall from the San Francisco landmark.
Witnesses reported seeing the 16-year-old girl, who has not been publicly identified, go over the side of the bridge at 10:56 a.m. Sunday. The Coast Guard was able to recover the young woman who was responsive.
"The girl was conscious when she was pulled from the water," Coast Guard spokeswoman Laura Williams told ABC News.
The Coast Guard rushed the girl to shore where the San Francisco Fire Department took her to Marin General Hospital.
It has not been determined if she fell or jumped off of the bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge has been a notorious place for suicides since it was built in 1937 and very few survive the 220 foot fall the middle of the span or the frigid, fast moving water below. A fall off the Golden is the equivalent of a four second 25-story fall and the human body is usually shattered when it strikes the water at 75 mph.
Teenage Boy Survived Golden Gate Plunge in March
Nevertheless, a 17-year-old boy also plunged off the bridge on March 10 and survived. The teenager told the Highway Patrol that he had jumped off the bridge. He didn't appear to have any injuries, but was taken to San Francisco General Hospital for an evaluation.
The boy was helped to shore by Frederic Lecouturier, a 55-year-old surfer who saw the young man jump and went to his aid. When Lecouturier paddled up to the boy, the teenager grabbed the man's surfboard to try to float. The boy was dressed and had heavy shoes on and when Lecouturier lifted the boy up and paddled him in to shore in the 6 to 8 foot waves.
Lecouturier, who has two teenage sons, was upset by this boy's decision to jump off the bridge. "I told him you fricken' idiot how could you do this?" He went on to tell him that he was a young kid and could have lost his life. "God gave you life you don't just chance it to throw away," the surfer lectured the teenager.
Lecouturier, who has surfed the waves for years, told ABC News that the only reason the boy survived was because of the high winds that day. "He was lucky that day there was a squall and a south wind that was blowing right under the bridge and the wind kind of held him up and broke his fall, I'm almost sure of it," Lecouturier said. "I saw him the last 30 feet. I saw him dropping. I couldn't believe he dropped off the bridge because he wasn't going that fast."