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The State : She Survives Bridge Plunge

January 04, 1988

An 18-year-old woman jumped or fell from the Golden Gate Bridge more than 200 feet into chilly San Francisco Bay and survived, authorities reported. A Coast Guard cutter rescued weeping Sara Rutledge Birnbaum, administered oxygen and delivered her to shore where she was rushed to Letterman Army Medical Center, said Coast Guard spokesman Ken Freeze. The Piedmont woman was conscious, coherent and able to answer questions, he said. Bridge workers reported spotting Birnbaum sitting on the railing and alerted the Coast Guard. Birnbaum went over the rail almost immediately, the workers said. About 900 people have leaped from the bridge since it opened in 1937 and at least 20 have survived.

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