"I knew that to have a prayer, to survive, I had to hit the water feet first.”- Slim Lambert, NPR Over the weekend, America celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. The Golden Gate was largest suspension bridge in the world when it was completed in 1937. Many deaths were anticipated with this great construction project. Highest Cliff Jump Ever Executed? | Man Falls 220-Feet Off the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937 | Unofficial Networks

Highest Cliff Jump Ever Executed? | Man Falls 220-Feet Off the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937

Highest Cliff Jump Ever Executed? | Man Falls 220-Feet Off the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937

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Highest Cliff Jump Ever Executed? | Man Falls 220-Feet Off the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937

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Golden Gate Bridge

 “I knew that to have a prayer, to survive, I had to hit the water feet first.”- Slim Lambert, NPR

Over the weekend, America celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA.  The Golden Gate was largest suspension bridge in the world when it was completed in 1937.

Many deaths were anticipated with this great construction project.  

“The rule of thumb at the time was that for every million dollars spent on a project, one person would die — and the Golden Gate Bridge was going to cost $37 million.” – NPR

Yet, construction began in 1933 and by 1937 there still hadn’t been a single death.  

Golden Gate Bridge during construction

On February 17th, 1937, a cat walk made of scaffolding underneath the bridge was being dismantled.  Upon removing it, the cat walk fell with 12 men on it.

Slim Lambert was one of the men on the cat walk when it fell.  He fell 220 feet into the water below and survived.

“The only thing that went through my mind was survival. I knew that to have a prayer, to survive, I had to hit the water feet first.” – Slim Lambert , NPR

Construction workers on the Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930s

Slim was able to land feet first and he plunged deep into the cold water.  He landed on the netting that was supposed to catch and save him but had fallen into the water with the weight of the broken scaffolding.  Slim’s legs were caught in the net underwater.  He was strong and was able to free himself from the net by kicking like mad.

“And that’s the only time I panicked during the whole thing.  I was caught in the net, and the net was headed for the bottom.” – Slim Lambert , NPR

Slim went so deep into the water upon landing that he came up for air with bleeding ears.

Slim grabbed onto some floating scaffolding  debris, snatched up another fallen worker, and they were luckily picked up by a passing crab fisherman.

Golden Gate Bridge Opening Day Poster

This was an unfortunate day for the men building the Golden Gate Bridge, but Slim’s story of falling 220 feet into the ocean and surviving is certainly a shining bright spot.

Please listen to NPR to learn more about the amazing Golden Gate Bridge and hear Slim tell this story first hand:  

75 Years Ago, A Deadly Day On The Golden Gate

by AMY STANDEN

San Francisco’s Golden Gate circa 1891

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE FACTS:

– $35 million = cost to build

– 1.7 miles long

– 220 feet above ocean

– 746-foot tall towers

– Construction began January 5th, 1933 

– Construction completed April 19th, 1937

– Opened to public May 27th, 1937

– The bridge can handle 120,000 automobiles per day

– 11 deaths occurred during construction

– More people die by suicide at the Golden Gate Bridge than any other location on Earth 

– Approximately 1,500 have jumped off the bridge

– Approximately 26 people have survived the jump

Golden Gate construction workers

Thanks to all the men who helped to build the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge.  It truly is the most beautiful bridge in the world.

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