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Teenager who survived jump off Golden Gate Bridge may have leaped on a dare, authorities say

March 10, 2011 |  6:05 pm

A high school student on a field trip to the Golden Gate Bridge who survived a leap Thursday from the famed San Francisco span may have jumped on a dare, authorities said.

The unidentified, 16-year-old 11th-grader from Windsor High School in Sonoma County was rescued by a surfer after the 11:15 a.m. incident and was able to climb ashore on his own, authorities said. Suffering bruises, he was taken to a San Francisco hospital.

Windsor Unified School District Supt. Bill McDermott said the boy was with about 45 other students and two teachers on a humanities class field trip. He told reporters that he did not believe the teen was trying to commit suicide and that officials were investigating whether he had been dared by classmates to jump.

The fall from the bridge between its south tower and Fort Point where the boy jumped was about 220 feet.

Last year, 32 people died after plunging from the bridge; all of those deaths were considered suicides by officials.

-- Bob Pool