Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bradenton woman survives jump from Sunshine Skyway

ST. PETERSBURG — A woman parked her car atop the Sunshine Skyway bridge on Monday and walked right to the edge.

Then she jumped, falling almost 200 feet from the highest point of the bridge to the water.

"There was no hesitation," said St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Lt. Joel Granata.

The 41-year-old Bradenton woman survived, authorities say, but she suffered life-threatening injuries.

Her identity was withheld by authorities.

The Skyway is one of the nation's most-used bridges for suicides, where a jumper can hit the water at around 75 mph in just 3.5 seconds. Most jumps from the tallest part of the span are fatal, but the Bradenton woman is not alone in surviving a fall from the top.

In September, a 43-year-old woman survived the plunge with back pain and facial lacerations. She was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, which was boarding another boat just a few hundred yards away.

The Coast Guard's proximity was key in Monday's rescue, as well.

Several witnesses saw the woman stop her brown Dodge Neon on the bridge and jump about 2:07 p.m., according to fire rescue.

Within minutes, a nearby boater came to her aid, followed by a 41-foot Coast Guard utility boat that was training with a Coast Guard helicopter nearby.

The HH-60 Coast Guard helicopter lowered its rescue swimmer, a trained paramedic, to the deck to help treat the injured woman.

The Coast Guard vessel brought her to O'Neill's Marina in St. Petersburg, where she was treated by St. Petersburg Fire Rescue paramedics and then taken to Bayfront Medical Center.

Her exact condition and injuries were unknown Monday. St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Lt. Jake Nyhart said she was conscious and talking to paramedics, but also was badly hurt.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.

Did you know?

More suicides were attempted on the Skyway last year than in any year since 2000, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. There were 29 people threatening to jump in 2008, compared to 18 the year before. Nine of those jumpers died.

Bradenton woman survives jump from Sunshine Skyway 05/04/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 4, 2009 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    A Florida Highway Patrol Academy class in the late 1980s. Typically, graduating classes had about 80 recruits. But the most recent class has less than half that as the agency continues to struggle to fill vacancies. [

Florida: Highway Patrol]
  2. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze


    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  3. After last year's drug-related deaths, Tampa's Sunset Music Festival says it's stepping up safety, security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Alex Haynes worked three jobs. He had a fiance and an infant son. He owned his own home in Melbourne. Last summer, the 22-year-old attended the Sunset Musical Festival at Raymond James Stadium.

    He left in an ambulance.

    Last year’s Sunset Music Festival was marked by dozens of medical emergencies.
  4. What you need to know for Friday, May 26


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Read this morning why Florida's most prized sweet corn is nearly extinct. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in


    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times