SAN FRANCISCO

Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Prevention: CHP Sergeant Kevin Briggs On Saving Lives From Over The Railing (VIDEO)

12/11/2012 03:02 pm ET | Updated Dec 12, 2012

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge may be beautiful, but the landmark has become just as famous for its staggering suicide rate as its International Orange spires.

Over 1,500 people have jumped from the bridge in its 75-year history, making it one of the most popular suicide destinations in the world. A recent spike has only made the number more daunting.

But in a short video titled "Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge," Yahoo! Viewfinder explored the lesser-told story of the countless lives saved by suicide prevention experts.

In the six-minute video, Yahoo! profiled CHP Sergeant Kevin Briggs who has saved hundreds from leaping over the railing in his 26-year career.

"I've never actually counted the number, but it's been numerous people," said Briggs in the video. "Maybe two a month."

Because suicide attempts are rarely reported, Briggs was shocked when he started patrolling.

"When I came on patrol, I had no idea what transpired down on the bridge," he said.

In the video, Briggs and Golden Gate Bridge Captain Lisa Locati detail several successful suicide interventions. According to Briggs, the secret to reaching people is compassion and communication.

"I believe that their sight is just very narrow at that point, and they see the only way out is by jumping over the bridge," he said.

According to Locati, their success rate at the bridge is somewhere between 80 and 90 percent. "I dont think that it's reported enough that we save a lot of people out here," she said.

But even Briggs can't save everyone.

"Out of my years, one. I've lost one person that I've spoken with," he said. "I spoke with him for 40 minutes to an hour. Then he turned to me and said, 'Kevin, I have to go now.'"

Locati recounted another incident between Briggs and one distraught man that lasted over seven hours in the middle of the night. Eventually, the man climbed back over the railing.

"We asked him, 'What was it finally after all those hours that you finally decided to come back?'" recalled Locati. "He just said, 'Kevin wouldn't give up.'"

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