SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) — An eleventh-grade student from Windsor High School survived a plunge off San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate Bridge on Thursday, school officials told CBS.
The 16-year-old was participating in a humanities class field trip and was crossing the bridge when he jumped off the lower end of it and into San Francisco Bay, said Windsor Unified School District Superintendent Bill McDermott.
Miraculously, the boy survived the fall and was rescued by a nearby surfer who paddled over to him, McDermott said.
The boy was being evaluated for injuries at a San Francisco hospital, but neither school or fire officials could provide further details on his condition.
McDermott said he didn’t think the boy was trying to committ suicide, but said it was possible he jumped as a result of a dare by fellow classmates; authorities were still investigating what led up to the incident.
The Marin County Coroner’s Office and the Golden Gate Bridge District indicated that up to 1,500 people have died jumping off the bridge since it opened in 1937. Last year, 32 people were killed in bridge jumps.
Authorities estimate someone jumps off the Golden Gate on average of once every two weeks; 98% of those plunges end up being fatal and most of those deaths are ruled suicides.
A recent study found more students hurl themselves off the bridge than any other demographic group.
McDermott said this is the first time an incident of this magnitude has ever occured on a school field trip in the Windsor district.
The teen is reportedly on his school’s honor roll.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)