faq you - the q and aupdated: 07.10.21
07.10.21, Rachel C., Bradenton, Florida, As a Florida native, born and raised, I’ve driven past the Skyway State Park Pier time and time again and gone fishing on it plenty as well but something has always confused me…what is the part of the pier to the side of it? There are a few sections of pier, divided up, not connected, and from what I can discern not accessible to the left side of the pier (if you’re facing it) and I can’t for the life of me find any information on what it is or why it’s there. I gather it was apart of the old bridge but why is it still there and why can’t you access it? Maybe it’s too close to the active pier to be demolished so it just sits there? Anyway, just a silly question! Thank you for any insight you may have! :)
(the original two-lane single span opened on 09.06.54. a parallel bridge to the west, carrying traffic lanes south, opened on 05.19.71 and was knocked down by a ship on 05.09.80. the current bridge opened on 04.20.87. the old bridges were demolished in 1993, leaving behind the longest fishing piers in the world. the original 1954 eastern bridge lanes/piers were closed on 08.29.08 for safety concerns and are gradually being removed and used as artificial reef material. the 1971 western lanes/piers are open 24/365. the remaining older pier remnants are mostly sitting abandoned, as you pointed out. there doesn't seem to be any urgency in removing them. maybe it costs too much. i hope this helped.)
02.05.20, Debby J., I have a question. It appears that law enforcement agencies do not report all Skyway Bridge jumpers. Is that true? And why is that? Maybe to deter any other possible jumpers? Thank you and I apologize if my question is a bit ignorant. (your question is not ignorant at all. as this website shows, the media used to report jumpers quite a bit in the past and there were fewer jumpers then. somewhere along the way, they steadily limited their reports to the near zero we have now. the claim was that reporting jumpers caused 'suicide contagion', where people would get the idea to kill themselves, when they hear that someone else did so. statistics show that the opposite seems to be the case. the last three years have been record jumper years, in this age of near zero media reporting. they are quick to report the people saved from jumping, but are silent on the actual jumpers. perhaps reporting jumpers would help stop them. apparently, they are not worthy of news mention. it would appear that maintaining the charade of media silence, continues the fallacy of 'suicide contagion', as it pertains to skyway suicides.)
05.10.19, Curious, Quincy, Fl., How much is the fine for survivors who dive from the sunshine skyway bridge? (it may have happened, but we have never heard of anyone being fined or arrested. we assume those that are saved or survive a jump, qualify for the 'baker act' and are considered mentally ill at the time.)
12.30.18, anon, Is there an authority employee that could drive my car and me over the Skyway bridge (I fear heights). Picking daughter up at St. Pete Airport and don't want to spend an extra 45-60 minutes going through Tampa. Many Authoritys in the North have that service for bridges! (we know of no specific service that would do that. unless you can find a friend or family member to do the job, perhaps try uber or lyft. we have used uber several times and found it convenient and worth the money. stories about bridge driver services: abcnews.com • philly.com • nj.com • nytimes.com • usatoday.com)
12.24.18, Cristine K., facebook, Is there a way to walk on the bridge or the area where people are walking out to jump? I’d hang out there for the day to talk to people or call for help? (the bridge is part of the interstate highway system. there is no legal pedestrian walkway or other area where people can hang out. read this.)
12.03.16, Jennifer, Brandon, I just want to ask the owner of this bridge if he has ever considered hotwire? I mean it really could be a detour from people jumping off. Its sad that this happens and that other incidents happen, but every life is valuable and I think its definitely worth a try!! Just a idea that may help save <3
12.04.16, can you explain what 'hotwire' is?
12.04.16, Sorry...maybe I need to be more explicit:)
Hotwire...like prisons even use Hotwire, I have some that I am going to put around my chicken coup to keep predators out. Instead of getting Hotwire that is ran by electric you can do solar so there is no electric bill. If it can keep a 1,300 lbs horse is a stall it can for sure make someone think twice just at a touch. And solar would be the way to go!
Hotwire is used to keep things out and keep things in. I hope my idea is considered for the future.
12.05.16, so in this case, 'hotwire' is less a travel website that offers low prices on airfare, hotel, rental cars, and vacation packages by selling off unsold travel inventory at discounted prices, but more an electric fence. that's exactly what we have been promoting for years.
12.05.16, This is great news to hear, thank you so much for corresponding with me about it. Its a BEAUTIFUL bridge...altho im scared to ride over it lol and never have, but I have taken the boat under it. I hope your plan becomes a reality, it will definetly turn things around :) Hope you have a good & safe holiday.
12.05.16, thank you for taking the time to offer your idea. people are tired of nothing being done. you have a good holiday as well and get those chickens in order.
12.05.16, Lol along with 4 horses....im on it ;)
One more idea phil:) I know you said you have been trying to get the plan in the works, I was just reading up on the details of the bridge and the maintenance and such, so I was thinking have you considered a Gofundme? If the community wants something done then im sure it would be a success to help fund the project. I don't know if theirs red tape you have to go thru to make it happen but its definitely a good idea ! I think alot of people would donate for the cause:)
If I can rescue a horse from a kill pen in a different state thru a go fundme then theirs no doubt in mind that people would step up to contribute.
12.06.16, we will leave the fund raising to others. one might assume a jumper's family member would have spearheaded such a fund by now. it would more likely get done that way, as opposed to the idiots that run this horrible website. besides, there are too many people that hate what we do here. of course, we would promote the fund, front and center, if we were requested to do so.
12.06.16, Awwwwwe, im sorry to hear that!! My lord its not your fault that things like that go on. Its just bitterness and easier to blame someone else sometimes then to accept peoples choices. Well, I have never lost someone in a suicide like that...but...I am all about helping and trying to make a positive change for people & animals:) We can't change the world it's true, but we can change the world for one person at a time. I would love to do a gofundme for the skyway, I would have to do lots of research for the post, and I would need a financial goal to post for the community. Have you got a round about estimate? Im interested in helping, I have the time and im up for the challenge:) sure it may take a little while but its got to start somewhere.
12.06.16, the 'fdot', florida department of transportation, is the agency needing the kick in the ass. not sure how that could be done, but they are the one's doing squat zero at the moment. they seem to have no real problem with people leaping to death from their bridge. sure, they installed cameras to record jumpers and crisis phones people tend to ignore. other than that, it's just a matter of troopers racing to the scene, hoping to intervene, and other agencies doing after the jump processing. they did shut off access to their four tower cams. no need letting the public see what they allow to happen. the bottom line, there should be no fund raising necessary, for what the state should already be doing with the money they glean from the tolls they take. just install a fence, be it electrified or not, or wait dozens more jumpers before they end up installing one anyway. a kick in the ass is really all they need. one might think the affected families would gather strength and class action that into being. after all, the state is displaying some culpability in having a structure, specifically known to draw jumpers, and allowing it to continue unabated, decade after decade.
12.06.16, You are a 100% accurate, if it was my family member I would push for change, thats a real shame its like this and yet fingers point at you? Not right at all. Well, it was a thought but you are correct. I heard the cameras were off and I heard about the phones, I understand some people are mentally ill and do these things for depression or whatever. The sad part is the position you're in with it. People are going to do what they want to ya know, my Uncle took his life with a gun....doesn't mean im anti gun.
I hope it changes for you & all concerned. You can only do what you can, your one person! If theirs anything I can do in the future feel free to let me know :) Keep your head up...hopefully someone will get a wake-up call and change things to make it happen, somewhere & some how something has to give, every situation has a breaking point!
10.05.16, Sarah, Manatee, What is the protocol for closing the bridge due to high winds. What is the MPH that will do this? Thank you (from this article, "According to FHP, there has to be sustained high winds of 40 mph or fog that limits visibility to less than 100 feet". you can also monitor this page for fdot closing updates.)
09.26.16, Amy J., Clearwater, Fl., Where is the link to the stories about the boaters that have picked up jumpers from the waters? I have been looking for them on your site but I got lost. Looking for experiences from others who have seen jumpers hit the water and have rescued or tried to rescue them as well. Thanks and have a great weekend! (there are many jump stories involving civilian boaters and a few that have almost been hit by falling jumpers. we do not have dedicated links to these stories. even though it's still early morning, you go get another cup of coffee and i'll trudge through the many pages on a quest to scare up a couple worthy ones, just for you. <insert considerable time spent here> ok, i'm back. there appears to be 642 occurrences of the word 'boat' in 78 pages on this website. here are a few of them: 12.15.08 • 07.05.12 • 07.17.09. we do have several pictures of jumpers in the water that were taken by these boaters, but we draw the line at posting them. you too have a great weekend.)
08.29.16, Eric J. R., Wildwood Fl., I have a question: I have lived in Tampa since 1986 and have only driven on the bridge once on my way home from Miami with friends. We got lost somehow and instead of taking 75 north, we ended on the Skyway. I noticed that the bridge had a huge steep incline. This was back in 1996-97. In 2012, I went on a Carnival cruise with a girlfriend I am no longer with and the ship had to go under the bridge. It is a very beautiful bridge but it is very tall and I noticed that from the top, to the waters, it is a LONG way down. Fast forward to a few weeks ago: I came upon this site via a link about "the most haunted places in Florida" or something like that and I read the link and I was, well, shocked as to the numbers of attempts and actual deaths have occurred from jumping into the waters. My question to you is: Do you believe that the bridge may be haunted in ANY way shape or form? Have you heard of any current plans from FHP and the government to install barriers to prevent these deaths? I also read the story on this site about the woman that was driving with her cat all the way from Miami and the cat got freaked out when they reached the very top. Do you know exactly at what speed these jumpers hit the water at from such heights? Any other info would be greatly appreciated. By the way, not to sound rude but after reading all of the stories and accounts/reports, I WILL NEVER drive on that bridge. I would just take 75 north if I am coming from Miami to where I need to go. Personally, that bridge is haunted. I have done nighttime photography in cemeteries in Tampa since the days of film, using and experimenting with bulb photography and other lighting techniques. I would rather walk with in a dark cemetery with a camera and a dim flashlight than to set foot on that bridge. Just my opinion. Thank you for taking the time for reading this and any and all information would be greatly appreciated. Have a great week and just so you know, to whoever is reading this, I am going through personal problems and have been for years. I am getting help but PLEASE DON'T JUMP FROM THAT BRIDGE!!! Have a great week and thanks for your attention and looking forward to your response. (from the deck top to the water is about 191' and the clearance below is about 174'. people that jump from the bridge hit the water in about 3.5 seconds at about 75 mph. while there is no physical proof of a haunting. there have been enough reports of odd spiritual incidents, that one must at lease ponder some form of bridge "haunting". personally, we have no problem driving over the bridge at any time or any weather. if allowed, we would surely walk across at any hour as well. talk of jumper barriers have been had since early in the bridge's jumper history. they installed the crisis phones that have helped the few that use them and they installed cameras that can only alert officials that someone has stopped at the top. we have been advocating the testing of a device invented by a skyway jump survivor. as of this writing, squat zero has been done, other than trying to stop the reporting of skyway suicides. thank you for your input and do have a great week as well. we also hope your personal problems subside and you seek help for the issues you can not tackle alone. be well.)
08.20.16, Mal, Fargo, Yes, Who can I reach out to to see if they have video of my family's final moments before they jumped? FDOT? Police? Is there a contact i can reach out to? I would actually like to see the video to understand how they did it and to see their mannerisms in their final moments. I think it would bring closure to myself and the family. (the first place you should try is the FDOT, as they are the cam masters. after that, contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. there will no doubt be some hurdles to jump, but being as it is a function of government, you might try playing the 'freedom of information act' card. you may have to pay for this freedom, however, with both cash and time. do let us know the result, not necessarily the personal information you find, but the process it took to retrieve it. more about the 'freedom of information act')
08.07.16, Hatchet Man, it is so sad that the cams arent working. any clue why they are off? (there could be a maintenance issue of some sort. perhaps something is amiss with the system controlling those four cams. the paranoid side of us thinks it's this website. it's only been a short time since we have collected and used the images from the tower cams. maybe the powers that be have taken issue with that.)
08.07.16, Hatchet Man, im thinking its on purpose seeing how its in the jumper zone.
10.05.15, David H., Ohio, I was reading the wikipedia entry about the Skyway Bridge and did not see any mention of your web site. What gives? (years ago, we tried several times to add something about this site to the suicide section of their 'skyway bridge' page. they quickly deleted each one and finally threatened to block us from the site if we continued. there was a wikiadminisdictator that specifically had something against our 'skywaybridge' username, so he censored us and threatened to have the username removed. just checked and it still logs in, but we do not use it or their site for anything anymore anyway. a few years or so ago, one of our contributors made a mention on their page and it hung around for a while, but it is gone now as well. far be it that they would allow a web site, specifically dedicated to skyway suicides, to be listed on a reference web site with a section detailing skyway suicides. if you search the 'references' links, there may be a link or two at any given time. someone did stick a link in the 'external links' section on their 'suicide bridge' page. we'll check back later to see if it hangs around a while. oh well, their site, their rules. we welcome our visitors to contribute an informative and useful mention of this site on that wikipedia page, not that it may be of use to anyone, but simply to annoy the censor nazi that monitors that page. tell him 'skywaybridge' sent you. maybe then we will get our username removed once and for all.)
12.24.14, Orson, Las Vegas, NV., 1. Did the original remaining Skyway span have warning signals and gates installed on the bridge following the collapse of the parallel southbound span? I've read that some sort of warning system for motorists was installed. It appeared in a brief segment of a YouTube clip on crossing the bridge in 1982 that there was a gantry with a signal head and retracting gate constructed at the base of each approach to the high level channel section. 2. The cable stay replacement span opened with a state of the art motorist protection system. It included variable message board signs, static signs reading "Stop Here on Flashing Red" and apparently a wire is embedded through the hollow core of the main span so in the event of a segment collapse, the operations center would be notified to shut the bridge immediately. However when I look on Street View of the bridge now, all I see is a single variable message sign on each end of the 4 mile span, no more static "flashing when red" signs. I wonder whether those were removed under the rationale that nothing approaching the Summit Venture nor Janna Dan rammings have occurred in over 25 years of operations on the new span. What can you find out about this? Also, why did they leave the broken cantilever span just standing there for seven years as opposed to dismantling it? What a chilling ominous thing for drivers to have to see every time they crossed. (you pose an interesting series of questions. we're pretty sure the original bridge had a gate at each end to close the bridge from time to time for high winds, bad storms, etc. as for the new bridge, we doubt they assume nothing could bring it down. what they have installed to stop vehicles on the bridge is a mystery to us as well. we think the bridge remains were left for several reasons. after the collapse, there were multiple lawsuits. perhaps it was left as it was as evidence for legal reasons. the only other reason would be the cost of demolition. they simply hesitated pulling the demo trigger until they secured the funding.)
10.31.14, Derek A., Danvers, Ma., Just curious if your website offered a newsletter and/or email updates one could register for? Thank you in advance (no, any newness can be found here: new website stuff.)
06.16.14, GES, Newberry, Fl., What's the penalty for being a pedestrian on the Bridge? Has anyone ever skateboarded down one side? (we have no idea what the penalty is for walking across the bridge.)
09.30.13, cali, port Angeles, wa., There are two major bridges in my town that are over roads way below. There were three attempts in one week or so by jumpers. Since then I have a phobia of being hit by (landed on) a jumper. What is this phobia called? Thanks for your help! (we did a little searching and it seems there is no specific term for the phobia you describe. if we were to venture a new term, perhaps thumpophobia will work until we come up with something better.)
08.01.12, Blair, This may be relevant, considering recently in the "what's new" section the first success of the crisis phones was mentioned: "sarah, ft myers, fl., (07.29.12, 2:20pm), Just drove over the Skyway bridge and at the top was a white four door car that was empty. The call box door was open and there two cops.." Mr. King used the crisis phone, and then jumped anyway? I noticed on some of the older jump history database, you stated if the phones were used or not. Most times if the person jumped, the "used phones" = no. Is this very rare for a person who used the crisis phone to still jump from the bridge anyway? ('the jumper used the crisis hotline phones' question on the jumpnews form is a hard question a drive-by jumpnews reporter can answer. we assume it's only answered when the maybe jumper is actually seen using the phone. the possibilities are several. 1) used one and was talked out of jumping. in this case, we imagine a trooper arriving and collecting the caller, jump averted, and perhaps a 'save' documented. we're guessing nothing official is publicly reported in most of these scenarios. the trooper closes an open call box and everyone goes away. sometimes, the trooper arrives, only to find the caller already left. 2) on the other hand, maybe the suicidal used them and jumped anyway. still, we may never know they used them, as how often do we get official reports that they did? we can imagine a despondent person using them, yet deciding to jump anyway, but taking a moment to close the call box because that's how they found it. polite and courteous right up to the end. 3) we know that most jumpers do not use the call box. they are determined and either jump immediately with no hesitation or ponder the idea a few moments and jump after thinking a bit, or when rescue seems imminent and they need to get jumping before they are stopped. 4) then there are those that think they will jump, only to change their mind or are so scared about the situation they now find themselves in, yet don't use the call box. we're guessing they are the most confused on exactly what they want to do about their life. again, how many of these situations get public notice? we find it somewhat ironic that many of the jumpers seem to gravitate to the call boxes. the boxes seem to indicate the common 'jump from here' zones. in the case of mr. king, we would guess he used the phone or thought of using it to the point of at least opening the door. we will never know, as that sort of info is never given to the likes of us. can you imagine the insight we could have as to what makes a person jump, if we had access to the crisis call recordings that no doubt exist since the call boxes were installed? are these calls available to us common public?)
11.28.11, Blair, Skyway Splashers - sounds like the name of a club, but maybe another term for those who are offended by "Jumpers". I noticed the questions section has not been updated since around 2009, but after reading so many (often disturbing) reports on skywaybridge.com about distraught folks jumping from the Skyway bridge for decades, I have to ask: Has anyone ever landed on a boat? With the amount of marine traffic passing under the high span of the Skyway, and the fact that many who have jumped from the bridge just stop their car and hop over, without looking to see what's below first, it is almost a miracle if it wouldn't have happened after 200+ jumps. When a jumper impales themself on the mast of an unsuspecting, innocent sailboat passing below, it will likely make news headlines around the world. Also, when is someone going to try a stunt like jumping off the Skyway into the swmming pool on the deck of a cruise ship passing underneath? (people will always find reason to be offended. it's a way of life anymore with the fervent political correctness fever we have in this country. we will stick with calling jumpers jumpers. as for the 'landing on a boat' thing, we have never heard of it happening, but always thought it eventually would. while boats and ships can be large targets, jumpers may find hitting one not part of their suicide plan. trying to deliberately land on smaller boats would be difficult. the larger ships may be "too close" as they pass under the bridge and seem too scary a target.)
11.23.11, Billdo, St. Pete., How deep is the water under the Skyway? (after some searching, it appears the water is somewhere between 40 and 50 feet deep, depending on location and tide. anyone with a more accurate depth is welcome to input.)
12.19.09, Celine, sarasota, By, law, Suicide is illegal, who enforces this and how? (from google: "It is not illegal in Florida to commit suicide (it is impossible to prosecute the dead), but under certain conditions one can be taken into protective custody and even involuntarily committed in some instances under the Florida Public Health Statutes for attempting it, threatening to attempt it, or exhibiting signs that would give an authority cause to believe that he is suicidal: ?397.675 Criteria for involuntary admissions, including protective custody, emergency admission, and other involuntary assessment, involuntary treatment, and alternative involuntary assessment for minors, for purposes of assessment and stabilization, and for involuntary treatment.--A person meets the criteria for involuntary admission if there is good faith reason to believe the person is substance abuse impaired and, because of such impairment: (2)(a) Has inflicted, or threatened or attempted to inflict, or unless admitted is likely to inflict, physical harm on himself or herself or another." there are other laws that can be cause for arrest while attempting to jump off the bridge, such as trespassing, obstruction of traffic, endangerment of another person, etc., although we wonder if they are ever applied.)
10.31.09, west, st pete, FL., How many folks have jumped off the Sunshine Skyway and have not had their bodies found? Is it possible to "fake" a jump and simply run away? Even if they left a car or a note, can video cameras prove the actual jump? and if so, how come the body is never located? You stated on this site that sometimes there is a slow reaction to water search and then depending on tides, wind and wave motion the body is not found. (there are ways a body is lost after a jump. the water current under the bridge can be fast, going in either direction. a long time can pass between the jump, it getting reported, and people finally getting to the scene. assuming they stay afloat, they can slip into obscurity as they drift in many different directions. if they sink and/or get caught up with something down below, finding them is harder yet. faking a jump could be possible, depending on how quickly one car is dropped off and another, maybe a motorcycle, picks up the driver and makes an escape, undetected by other motorists or the idiot cameras that may or may not be doing what they are supposed to do.)
05.05.09, allen, st. Petersburg, FL., Hi, Do you keep statistics based on, well, like by year, by month, day of the week, male , female, etc....all that. That would be a really great addition. Thanks. (we sort by year, the order of jump by date, latest on top, and by name. we thought about listing by birthday or zodiac sign, but realized that would be stupid. since we have no way of gathering 100% of all jumper stories, we just throw together whatever we get, just how you see it.)
12.27.08, Larry, St. Petersburg, FL., Forgive me if my question has previously been addressed on your site. Has there ever been any discussion by appropriate state officials about adding safety nets, barriers or other impediments to (at least) the higher elevations of the Skyway? If so, might there be any article link(s) here? I suspect that there are no barriers because some people feel the view is more important than trying to save lives, which I feel is absurd, though so typical of Florida "thinking". I also realize that some suicidal people might be athletic and/or creative enough to surmount such safety implementations. But, this doesn't mean we shouldn't just sit back and let them succeed. I've been curious about this question for a long time, so thanks in advance for your comments. (seems many people concerned with jumpers want to install elaborate fencing or netting to thwart the would be jumper on bridges world wide. there are many causes of preventable deaths in the u.s. and of course we should take all logical and concerted efforts to prevent them, but not so many millions of dollars for the so few that want to end their lives anyway, regardless if it's on impulse or not. we doubt there could ever be a barrier structure of any merit built on the skyway for the simple reason the bridge is not designed for it. the aerodynamic properties could prove hazardous to the bridge itself. without sounding cold, we feel it is not the job of our government to keep adults from hurting themselves. it's totally unfeasible to expect or desire governmental protection for everyone from themselves 24/7. it is our responsibility to not take ourselves out. then there is the very likelihood that anyone caught in the net and injured in any way, will sue and win large sums of money for having created a structure that injures people that jump into it. you know at some point, a lawyer would win such a case. anyone caught in the net will also need to be rescued from it. the rescuers will also likely get injured occasionally while doing their job and that too will result in lawsuits and disability issues. the bridge has 4 to13 suicides a year. it would take 50 years of bridge jumpers to equal the suicide rate of one single day of cigarette smokers. in this country alone, one thousand people a day commit suicide through all fault of their own with cigarettes. read that again: one thousand a day. perhaps we should order up a barrier around a pack of smokes instead. there are several discussion articles about barriers for the 'golden gate bridge' that you can find listed here. there you will find more of what we have said here. check out this clever device that could severely cut back on skyway bridge jumpers without nets or fences and could be installed at a much lower cost, yet has gone unnoticed by the lackadaisical government bridge trolls.)
12.18.08, Wendy, Clearwater, Fl., I noticed that all the saves were men. What's your thoughts on that? (could be men procrastinate more than women do. maybe their female companions are driving them crazy and making them think they want to jump, only to realize once they are alone on the bridge, that all women are nuts and the guy snaps out of his suicidal haze just in time to be saved. we really don't know why and are simply getting into deeper trouble with every word we continue to type.)
11.27.08, Sarah M., facebook, Happy Thanksgiving. I wonder if the fall is less scary with a belly full of turkey. Has there ever been a Thanksgiving jump? You would think so with the way most family get-togethers go. (we at the skywaybridge.com advise potential jumpers to wait at least 30 minutes after thanksgiving dinner before they jump. this will better avoid the possibility of getting stomach cramps when they hit the water. as for any turkey day jumpers, we didn't expect you to give us a chore. we suppose we could take a few minutes and scour all 10 years of the jumper coverage we do have and check it out. hang on a minute. geez, the nerve of some people. --- ok, after exhaustive and extensive research, we conclude we have no idea if there has been one. we might assume that eating all that turkey causes one to become weak and lazy to the point the family's power to destroy a nice day is diminished. besides, christmas is only a few weeks away. that's the time to end one's misery. after racking up the credit card buying gifts for all the unappreciative bastards in the family, one might give the gift of ending it all. we hope you had a nice t-day.)
07.25.08, Kristie E., myspace, can i push someone off? is that allowed? he frequents that area for fishing but i would love it if he slipped and "fell" (by no means can or should you "fell" someone off the bridge. what if someone saw you? on the other hand, since you are such a good site friend, we suppose if no one is looking, you can "fell" someone off, but just this one time. don't be coming around here again asking for "pretty please, just one more?". we're sure most people have a list of those they would like to "fell" off the bridge too. we sure do.)
08.02.07, Katy, I live in MN so the hot topic right now is bridges. I have a friend (normally fairly intelligent) that swears a man fell from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and lived because he flapped his arms. It seems so unreasonable that I can't even believe it fits into the Urban Legend genre. Of course I Googled it to prove him wrong but (surprise, surprise) I couldn't find anything. MAYBE I'm just not using the right words. Please advise. Thanks! (we imagine many jumpers flail about on their way down. it seems a natural response to falling. yet most of these flailing jumpers succumb to the final impact below anyway. some, however, do survive. we assume they too flailed and flapped their arms to some degree, yet somehow managed to hit the water in a way that allows them to live through it. we know for fact, that human arms offer no reasonable lift when flapped in any manner. we are sorry for the tragic loss in the collapse of your bridge.)
01.18.07, Dave, Florida, USA, I see that there are two "versions" of the bridge in your photos. Is the set with the rocks surrounding the pilings current... or are the rocks gone? (the rock islands were added around the main shipping channel pilings after the bridge was built. they are an added barrier against wayward ships blundering their way into the bridge. jumpers that jump where the towers are, land upon these rock islands.)
08.09.06, Amy, Fair Haven VT., do you have a link to the old swing stunt VIDEO those people did a while back. thanks alot!
10.29.07, James C., Youngstown, OH USA, For educational purposes, I'm trying to locate a video of Steve Trotter's "pendulum swing." This is for a physics class in discussing circular motion - and why the tension in a rope/cable is much greater than that needed to just support the weight of the object/people. Can you help? Thanks. (one must apply the resulting centrifugal force of the total weight, based on the speed, acceleration, and resistance to the gravitational pull. gravity, not just a good idea, it's the law. they should have ponied up the cash for a stronger cable. we do have video here.)
08.05.06, emma, Oregon, i think you should have a more detailed description of what happens when you hit the water. minute by minute. that you don't die right away. probably make a few rethink things. (you can read one detailed account here.)
07.31.06, jessica, Apollo Beach, FL., Do you breathe when you are falling? Or is the force too strong to allow air to go up your nostrils and into ur lungs? would ur nose just fill with air? maybe it goes to ur brain? is that where the term air head came from? can you choke on your saliva when u fall? i do it all the time just sitting here. i guess i forget to swallow...maybe thats why my husband gets upset... lol.. sorry bout that last one...u can edit it if u want:) just wanted to fit in with the other ppl asking questions... (sure one could breathe when falling. skydivers breathe well enough during a free fall. it's a quick 3.5 second fall from the bridge, so perhaps if one isn't screaming, one may be holding one's breath. air is available to breath, whether forced or not. you may have a point about air getting to your brain. between that and what appears to be an endless supply of saliva, we are currently over loaded with jokes. if you are blonde too, we cannot contain ourselves.)
07.21.06, Twisted Transistor, Saint peterburg FL., I wanted to find more information about the one man who was murdered when he was forced to jump at gunpoint off the Skyway.. Is there an article on your site... Maybe I was looking to fast, but I didn't find it? (articles about this. if the link doesn't take you to the article right away, close the resulting page and try again.)
07.20.06, Eazy E., st pete., Do sharks ever nibble on the floaters? (maybe, but doubtful.)
06.27.06, jessica, lanc. PA, US., I WANT A SMART PERSON TO ANSWER...? i was wondering...people that jump, commiting suicide-ex.-jumpers of 9/11...do they die in mid-airr because of the quick/dramatic pressure change? or do they just die when they hit the ground? (of all the people that run this site, we are far and above the smartest. we suppose it is possible to die during the fall with a heart attack due to the intense excitement of falling and/or having a propensity for a heart attack already established. skydivers jump and free fall everyday without heart attacks. that's why the sign at the roller coaster advises you to not ride if you have heart issues. we are sure most all of these skyway deaths result from injuries due to impact and/or drowning.)
03.25.06, Steve L., Manchester, UK., You say the Skyway is the #3 most popular bridge in the USA for jumpers. The Golden Gate is obviously number one. What on earth is #2? I'm racking my brain trying to come up with another bridge famous for suicides. I can't think of it. (the coronado bridge in san diego is #2. we hope your brain is ok.)
06.24.05, Sarah, Austin, TX, I would really like to see you guys having some sort of alert when someone jumps. You could just send a quick email to the list notifying them to go check it out on your web page. That would be great, and it seems like an easy suggestion. (yes, it does sound easy. we have thought about it, but then simply sending mass e-mails of most any kind puts you into the spammer category with many isp's. then you end up getting blocked by some and have e-mails returned undeliverable by others. sad how a few spammer assholes can mess up the internets for the rest of us. we will let you, the jumper curious, check the site every month or so to read about the latest in jumper activity. so sarah, what are you wearing now?)
02.02.05, Nick, North Port, FL., Probably a stupid question, but has anyone ever hit the rocks and lived? It's amazing people even live jumping off the edge, so it's probably never happened. Has anyone ever jumped off the skyway, lived, and jumped off again? Great site! (it's not possible for a human to fall 190 feet, hit jagged rocks, and somehow manage to survive. there have been two known two timers: Hazel Rooks was saved from jumping, but came back later and succeeded with her suicide jump. John Wright jumped and lived and came back later to try again, but was saved from jumping.)
11.28.04, joe, sarasota, florida, Do you think a car could break through the concrete barrier? (a large truck might, but we doubt a car could get enough sideways velocity to break through the barrier. we imagine a vehicle of any size could somehow manage to flip over the side.)
06.06.04, tia, This isn't about jumpers but it is about the collapse. I am trying to find an appropriate place to bring this inappropriate commercial to the forefront. I just saw an ad for mitsubishi which showed a "race" to the end of the broken bridge. I was livng in FL when this accident occured and was just sickened by the fact that they are using this in an ad. it would be like using the twin towers in some airplane commercial. (we saw the commercial and failed to see the similarity to the skyway bridge collapse in any way. what we saw was a cool advertisement showing two cars heading for a drop off. one car stops in time and the other falls off the end. true, cars did drop off the end of the fallen skyway, but the ad in no way depicts the skyway disaster. should we stop allowing disaster movies because they depict real disasters? should we stop police and detective shows because they depict brutal real life situations? should we stop jerry springer because he shows us lower life forms that actually live amongst us? we think you are a bit overly sensitive about this and should perhaps settle down.)
05.13.04, Traci, Georgetown, DE., Do most people who jump from bridges die before they hit the water, or is it the impact of the hit? (it's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden impact and that drowning thing that does the jumper in.)
04.26.04, Damon, N. Kingstown, RI., Just out of curiosity; if you know, how far down will a jumper sink in the water after the unfortunate but amusing fall from the highest point on the bridge? (without a consistent entry into the water, there is no way to gauge the depth one would sink in such an event. some may belly flop, where others may enter like an olympic diver. some may not come up at all and simply sink to the bottom. there are too many variables.)
04.23.04, jack n., saint pete, my friend Joey wants to know if it counts if the person is "maybe kind of dead" when he or she jumps ("maybe kind of dead" is still alive. go poke joey with a stick and tell him he counts.)
03.30.04, sad mommy, san diego, do you have any links or help for a heartbroken mom? without my daughter I don't see any reason to go on. I am open to suggestions if it helps the heartache ... I just can't seem to come up with any on my own. I hope this doesn't sound like a "rant" ... I really want some healthy suggestions.. thank you (we have children and can not imagine that level of loss. other then the help links here, we have no idea who could help cope with such a tragedy. we can only imagine your daughter would want you to be strong and continue on for the both of you. she will always be with you. remember that and live the life she could not. don't give in to giving up. do not disappoint her. good luck.)
02.25.04, Erin, Tuscaloosa, AL., why isn't there a web-cam or something of the type? (it's not like people are flinging themselves off the bridge every hour. the average is about one per month. the jumper web cam would look like a still photo 24/7 except for the once a month blur you missed because you finally had to go pee. besides, the people that control the bridge have no sense of humor. the bridge does have web cams, but no public ones that show areas of known jumping activity.)
01.09.04, paul, arlington, texas, do you know what the rough estimate of "cut off height" for jumping off a structure into a body of water which would assure death is? i was in sidney not long ago and we did the harbour bridge climb. someone asked our guide if anybody could survive a jump from the top. our guide seemed to think such a feat could be survivable. i said you would be quite dead....no exception. (since we are not rocket surgeon's, we can only guess that there are no hard and fast rules about survivability variables of descent deceleration and impact scenarios into a sodium enriched aqueous solution. the high cliff divers in mexico seem to be able to dive from great heights over and over with no adverse effects, yet let the average person try it and they may not surface afterwards. some skyway jumpers emerge from the jump as if they hopped off a boat into the water. others are split up the middle, spilling their insides out, and creating an instant buffet for the fishes. we would guess someone with skilled diving talents could maybe leap from a point higher up on the bridge and emerge from the water to thunderous applause.) here is more input about this mysterious "cut off height" for jumping into water:
02.03.04, tta, cleveland, ohio, I didn't have time to peruse your whole q and a page and wasn't sure if anyone posted an answer to the question "what is the highest height a human could survive a fall from into water?" I remember watching a show called "Worst case scenarios" in which they quoted the highest height a human could survive a fall if they hit the water properly was about 100 feet. That is a big IF. According to the show they said that even though they would survive the impact into the water, they would be severally messed up if not dead. Anything above 100 feet would be like hitting concrete. Like I said I can't remember the exact height but it's around 100 feet plus or minus 10 feet. Hope this enlightens any hopeful jumpers. (you should not trust everything you see on tv. as has been proven several times, people have jumped from over 190 feet off the skyway into the water and survived with scant little injuries. it does happen. your 100' +/- 10' formula is not even close. people are also killed jumping from lower heights into water. many die from drowning because they can't swim or they get knocked out. it wasn't the fall itself that killed them. the nature of water and the human factor creates too many variables to make solid assumptions.)
12.17.03, cheyenne, wyoming, what kind of preventions are there to help people who want to kill themselves? (other than a waist high concrete barrier to keep vehicles from making the jump, there are no other preventions to keep people from jumping. jumpers seem to vault right over with little effort. there are no preventions "to help people who want to kill themselves", as that just makes no sense.)
12.08.03, Minnie M., Orlando, Fl., Have you been exposed to any brutal suicides? (no.)
10.25.03, Aaron L., Clearwater, Florida, I am actually asking a real question in hopes of a real responce. I do a lot of BASE jumping, however i am wondering on a few things i have been caught about 4 times from local bay area bridges, piers, and other buildings. I am only 17 and have never gotten anything big past the point of "are you crazy", "do you need to see a doctor", those sort of things. My real question is what is the MAX fine/jail time associated with a jumping off any bridge, in Pinellas county? Does anyone know, also is there any fine/jail time associated with anyone that gives me a ride to the top? I am not looking to commit suicide, or even anything that would break my neck, etc. I would if anything jump from a lower point rather than the top to sacrafice a good leg, arm, or organ. Please let me know what you discover! Thanks again, love the site :-) (honestly) (first of all, we do not advocate anyone jumping off the skyway under any circumcise. we know it is against the law and we have no idea what the punishment is if you get caught. it is our opinion that anyone leaping off the bridge for any reason is nuts. just don't do it. if you insist on base jumping off the skyway, however, give us all the details.)
10.24.03, Amy McMuffin, St. Louis, I have thought about starting a companion jumper site for St. Louis but no one seems to be jumping around here. We have some lovely bridges in the metro area and plenty of reasons to jump. Do you have any suggestions to make my St. Louis Jumper Pool a reality? Obviously we only have rivers to jump into...perhaps it's the icky brown water or the giant chunks of slimy debris that make people shoot themselves rather than jumping? Thanks. (there must be something intrinsic to the st. louis area where the locals perform deadly behavior that you do not find elsewhere. let us know if you get it up.)
09.29.03, Joe, Milwaukie, Oregon, USA, Does anyone ever jump the bridge for a thrill? Is there a lower point on the bridge 50-70ft maybe? Just enough to catch some adrenaline! Is it illegal?? We jump for fun and the thrill - not to be part of any suicide bill! Thanks! (we have no idea how many jump from the ample sections of the bridge not high enough to cause death or serious injury. we do know that such activities are illegal, so if you plan on jumping from the lower portions, beware and be careful. better yet, stay home. thanks for the link.)
09.22.03, Maybe make a link for assholes who should jump off the bridge and makes the lives of everyone better. They spend all of their time making others miserable, maybe its time to make it public. (we have thought about doing this from the beginning, as we do have a short list of someone we wouldn't mind throwing off the bridge, but that is a whole other website. however, in these days of the endless lawsuit, listing people's real names that would rather not be listed, may turn this pool into a feeding frenzy for the cesspool of lawyers looking for work. we only post names that are publicly released. as a whole, we wouldn't mind seeing an endless stream of lawyers and politicians stepping off the edge.)
Bob, St. Petersburg, FL., How many people have died as a result of jumping from the Skyway as of today? Also how many have survived the fall? Have any survivors told their stories? (we have no idea the actual number of jumpers from the bridge or how many have died or survived. the information is not always made public. we have a guesstimate here. a few survivor stories can be found within the jumper pages. we're sure survivors have blabbed their stories to others, but only hanns jones has told his story publicly, as far as we know. survivors are more than welcome to tell their stories to us and we will publish their words anytime.)
darcy m., saint petersburg, florida, The Tower of Terror at MGM Studios, Disney. It is 199 ft tall. And it drops traveling at 39 mph...Soo..how many seconds does that take? The SkyWay Bridge, is how many feet tall? And it takes 3 seconds to hit going 75 mph...So if one could handle the Tower Of Terror, one could almost SURELY handle the Sky way right??? (riding the 'tower of terror' is so very different then jumping off the skyway. true, they both fall from about the same height, but dropping at 39 mph in a controlled amusement park ride that comes to a stop gradually, is generally a bit easier on one's body then smacking into water or rocks at 75 mph. other differences include: 'tower of terror' - admission is over $60 and parking is a hassle and costs like $10. skyway bridge - $1 toll with easy close up free parking. 'tower of terror' - long lines and waiting with hordes of smelly foreigners. skyway bridge - no lines, no waiting, fresh sea air. 'tower of terror' - you have no control over your destination. skyway bridge - you can get back in the car and go home.)
Chris, Any idea on how long the fall takes? or how fast the person is falling upon impact? (according to the st. petersburg times newspaper, "anyone who jumps from a point close to the center of the bridge, hits the water in about 3.5 seconds at about 75 mph. the impact usually breaks bones and ruptures organs. some live for minutes before they drown".)
what about the New River Gorge Bridge in colorado? it towers over a thousand feet above solid ground. that should be a suicide magnet. (the 'new river gorge bridge' is in west virginia. every october on the third saturday, people legally jump off the bridge during 'bridge day'. the royal gorge bridge is in colorado and is the world's highest suspension bridge at 1053 feet above the arkansas river. having been across that span on many occasions, we could never see our used beer hit the river so far below. people have taken the plunge, but we have no idea just how many have done so. a sign in the middle of the span decrees there is 'no fishing from the bridge'.)
Pauli, Newark, DE., We have a very popular jumping bridge -- the Delaware Memorial Bridge -- twin spans -- do you know where it is on the list of most popular bridges? (we get requests for info on all sorts of other jumping pools and jumper statistics of bridges worldwide. we tend to focus on the skyway. to date, we have heard of no other such crappy jumper guessing site or anything more then the californian's constantly bragging about having the #1 bridge. if you wish to develop a site about your own local land based jumping structure, please feel free to lift this site, change it around, and make it yours. just send us the link so we can share the results with all the skywaybridge.com fans.)
06.27.02, Gary V., Sarasota, Florida, Has anybody ever jumped with a parachute, or some other descent deceleration device? (we know of only two. 1- 04.27.97, ill-fated cable swing stunt that ended with the cable breaking midway through the swing. we saw it on tv. the five swingers, four men and one woman, hit the water hard, some with serious injuries. luckily, no one died. idiots all. 2- 10.25.87, three guys parachute off the bridge.)
unknown, Can you tell me about people WALKING on the bridge? Is it legal? Is there a place for pedestrians to walk? Does anyone walk up there who doesn't have any intention of dying? (the skyway roadbed is 'interstate 275'. there are no pedestrians allowed, as there are no pedestrian passageways. no bicycles either. basically, if it can't travel on an interstate, it can't travel the skyway. non-emergency stopping on the main span is frowned upon. many do stop for a quick picture, but be sure that eyes are watching and no doubt, authorities are being sent to investigate. try stopping at the top and time how long it takes to get hassled. get back to us with the results.) more:
Jason, clearwater, Fl., I am responding to one of your Q & A answers asking for how long it took to get "harrassed" for stopping at the top of the Skyway. Over the last 5 year, I have stopped at the top 4 times to let someone take a picture or look over the side. Everytime, it has taken about 1 minute or less for a Florida Highway Patrol officer from pulling up and telling us to leave. Usually, I tell them my car got hot coming up the bridge and needed a few minutes to cool down. They have all been nice and just said to get a move on as soon as possible. (thanks, jason.)
unknown, are the survivors jumping from the low part or what?!?!? (some have survived by jumping from the lower portions of the span, but several have taken the long plunge with various degrees of minor to major injuries. a few seem to emerge from the water as if they know how to jump from great heights and do so regularly.)
05.04.00, rich k., st. pete., fl., how many couples have jumped? has any one landed on a ship? has anyone fell trying to stop someone? (we know of only one documented jumper couple. we have not heard of anyone hitting a boat/ship or falling trying to stop someone.)
05.04.00, unknown, what is this "crisis phone?" are there actually phones on the bridge that a potential jumper can use to call for help on? and if so, WHY? i say if a person has actually driven onto the bridge and exited her car to take the plunge, then what's the point in calling for help? ALSO what's the male/female ratio on the jumper stats. my guess is more women than men due to hormone issues. (the crisis phones were erected in july 1999 in an attempt to offer potential jumpers a last ditch chance to save themselves. it's not a bad idea and it has worked a few times. obviously, many fail to use them and rapidly descend away from them. many women do jump from the bridge, but more men jump. we believe more men jump because a woman with probable "hormone issues" has just pushed them to the point they must end their misery. they long for the solitude only death will bring. just kidding. well, maybe not. yeah, we're kidding. uh huh.)
Hillary, Aston, Pa., Why do "jumpers" remove their shoes before jumping? (jumpers do not normally remove their shoes. the shoes, as well as clothes, are often ripped off upon impact. hitting the water from that high tends to make impact somewhat traumatic. several have been stripped naked.)
William C., St. Pete, Florida, If some one, lets say, a construction worker were to slip and fall from the bridge, would it count, or does it have to be a voluntary leap? Now if it does count what if the worker was attached to a safety line and does not fall all the way down? (in the past, we supposed that any accidental jumpage would qualify as a 'jump', even thou we assume the word 'jump' means they leapt from the bridge voluntarily. most jumpers simply step off the edge, much the same as a worker slipping off. neither really 'jumping'. it's mostly just stepping off and falling. we have since decided to treat the accidental step, slip, or otherwise flung off as a newsworthy story to post on the site, but will not count as a jump in the same way as a suicide jumper. we will add any links to the story, as it would be bridge related reading that may be of interest to this site's visitors.)
mark, st. pete., fl., How tall is the Skyway bridge? (the main span is 1,200 feet long. the total length of the bridge is 4.1 miles. the cable towers are 432 feet tall. at its peak, the roadway is 192 feet high, but we assume the tide has something to say about that.)
Jenn, Sydney, Australia, Why do you Americans have all the fun? (jenn, it just appears that we have all the fun. think of americans like this: you are standing at the window, gazing into an 'insane asylum'. see those people in there? they are us americans! although we appear to be having fun, we are too far gone to know it. we are beyond help, don't realize we even need help, nor do we care. we are on cruise control, yet no one is at the wheel. does that answer your question? yeah, didn't think so.)
unknown, why don't you have pictures of the jumpers? (we have a few pictures of jumpers taken pre-jump, never post-jump. they are scattered around the annual jump list pages.)
05.04.00, unknown, Do you know of other jumper contest & site ie: Golden Gate? Also how close is Sunshine from #1 position? (we have not heard of a pool going for the golden gate bridge. it's the #1 bridge for suicide jumpers and we know it's very busy. we have no idea how far behind the skyway is from the golden gate in jumper patrons. the coronado bridge in san diego is #2. leave it to those freaks in california to have the top two suicide bridges.)
Vicki, I recall hearing on the news about a person that jumped with their dog, I believe last year (99). The jumper died, dog lived. I didn't see anything on your page about it, just wondering if you have any info?? Thanks (that happened 05.06.98, about 2 months before we started this site.)
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