NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 4/18/2011 5:00:57 PM ET 2011-04-18T21:00:57

A 16-year-old girl became the second person in five weeks to survive a plunge from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge — a 220-foot drop that is almost always fatal.

The unidentified teen lived through the drop Sunday and the 20 minutes she spent in the 53-degree water of San Francisco Bay before she was rescued, Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

"To me, it's just amazing she even survived that drop, whether it was a jump or a fall," she said.

Coast Guard officials said a good samaritan kept her afloat, NBC Bay Area reported. Golden Gate Bridge spokeswoman Mary Currie told the NBC station that the teenager had jumped in a suicide attempt.

She was transported to Marin General Hospital, but her condition wasn't immediately available.

Fire dispatchers got the first call at 10:53 a.m. (1:53 p.m. ET) and the Coast Guard found her at 11:13 a.m., the Chronicle said.

Officials say about 25 people per year die in jumps from the bridge. In March, a 17-year-old boy survived after leaping from the bridge. Officials don't believe it was a suicide attempt.

The Golden Gate Bridge is considered one of the world's most popular spot for suicides, with a jump survival rate of only about 2 percent.

The bridge district does not track nonfatal leaps, but Currie estimated that 278 people took their lives from the span between 2000 and 2010. About 677 people were deterred after going to the bridge intending to harm themselves, she said.

NBC Bay Area, msnbc.com staff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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