Teens Save Suicidal Man From Jumping Off Bridge

By Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
June 10, 2016 Updated: June 10, 2016

Ellis Coupland and Kian Henderson, two 16-year-olds from Sunderland, North East England, saved a man from committing suicide late last month.

They were walking back from the cinema on the evening of May 31 heading to McDonald’s when they spotted a man in his mid-20’s sitting on the other side of the railings on Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland at around 11:30 p.m. 

“I saw a man in front of us, and he was looking at something. When I looked at what he was staring at, it was a man on the bridge, so I said to Ellis ‘There’s someone on the bridge,'” Henderson told Epoch Times.

“We went over and said ‘Excuse me are you alright?’ The man said ‘No, I’m sick of my life.’ I then said there’s better things you can do and this will not help,” Coupland said.

The teens both attend Whitburn Church of England Academy, and said the man—whose identity can not be revealed for his own protection—said that 10 other people walked past him and didn’t say or do anything prior to their arrival.

Coupland said it is because people “might not have wanted to say the wrong thing, and they may not have wanted to watch someone commit suicide, because that will stay with them forever.”

Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland (Google maps)
Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland (Google maps)

The teens continued to speak to the man for about 10-15 minutes. They listened to his problems “whilst trying to persuade him to come back over,” Coupland said.

When asked what his problems were, Henderson said “family issues,” “And depression,” Coupland added.

Police were called, and five police arrived to the scene, “One speaking to him and two on each side of the bridge,” Henderson said.  The boys and the police pulled the man over. After the man made it back to the other side safe and sound, police thanked the boys.

As for the suicidal man, “He shook our hands and said thank you for your time,” Coupland told Epoch Times.

Although Coupland said he was very sure that the man was going to kill himself, he said “[I] sort of knew I could talk him out of it.” Henderson, on the other hand said, he was “shocked to have been in that situation.”

In the end, they said they’re both happy and relieved that the man had a change of heart. Henderson told Epoch Times that he hopes the man gets the help he needs. Coupland added that there are plenty of resources one can take advantage of if they are feeling suicidal, for instance, “talking to your family and counselors,” he said.

“If you feel like this, it’s better to see someone about it and talk, instead of taking your life,” Henderson said.