Man Reunited With Sergeant Who Stopped Him From Jumping Off Golden Gate Bridge

“It was phenomenal…. It felt like I had known this man my whole life.” A heartwarming meeting for Sgt. Kevin Briggs and Kevin Berthia.

1. California Highway Patrol Sergeant Kevin Briggs has patrolled San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge for 20 years. Part of his job involves preventing suicidal men and women from jumping off the famous landmark.

Eric Risberg / AP

2. In March 2005, Briggs spent an hour talking this 22-year-old man, Kevin Berthia, back up over the railing.

The San Francisco Chronicle, John Storey / AP

3. After the rescue, the two men went their separate ways.

The San Francisco Chronicle, John Storey / AP

4. But on Wednesday, May 8 — eight years later — they met again. Berthia, now a husband and father of two, presented Briggs with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Public Service Award.

Mary Anne Russell / Via

5. “Kevin found the courage in himself that day to climb back over the rail, this beginning a new stage in his life,” Briggs said in his acceptance speech. “Here, standing before us, is the reason we do what we do.”

Mary Anne Russell / Via

“I didn’t know what I was going to feel, or how I was going to react,” Berthia later told Yahoo News. “But when I first saw him, he walked up me and I just shook his hand. It felt like I had known this man my whole life. The nerves weren’t there. It was just two old friends being reunited.”

Yahoo was partially responsible for Berthia and Briggs’ reunion. In December 2012, Berthia’s story was feature in Yahoo’s documentary about Briggs, Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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