Flashback: Stirring 1964 Image Of Verrazano Bridge Rescue

Source: extrabox via Flickr
Source: extrabox via Flickr

Sadly, too often we write about the latest suicide or suicide attempt committed on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Earlier this week, we told you about the latest incident involving a 39-year-old man who was heroically rescued after attempting a leap from the iconic bridge.

Obviously, committing suicide by jumping off the Verrazano Bridge is nothing new, evidenced by this incredible photograph posted by Flickr user “extrabox.” Extrabox described where the dynamic and harrowing photograph originated from:

A scan from my magazine collection showing the dark side of my beloved Verrazano Bridge. It’s from the July-August 1965 issue of SPRING 3100 which was a magazine for NYC cops (named after the telephone exchange number for the old Police headquarters building on Centre Street). The caption for this image: “Ptl. Erik A. Olsen, ESS 5, finds himself on edge of iron girder high up on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge grappling with a would-be jumper before pulling the man to safety. Olsen’s partner, Ptl. George Sica, ESS 5, secured other end of safety rope.” This was less than a year after the bridge opened in November 1964.

Unbelievable. The only prevention measures available on the bridge at this time include general surveillance and patrols, and signs that read “Life is worth living” with phones that link directly to suicide hotlines. With the rash of suicides and attempts in the last few years, some have argued that more has to be done to keep people from jumping.


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