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George Washington Bridge jump survivor tells his tale

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 9:52 PM

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Adrian Rawn survived jumping off of The George Washington Bridge in 2009 thanks to a confluence of factors — including a stint on the Naval Academy water polo team.

Adrian Rawn regretted jumping off the George Washington Bridge before he even hit the water.

Rawn somehow remained conscious after plummeting more than 200 feet into the Hudson River. As the choppy water filled his mouth, the man who just moments before wanted nothing more than to die swam desperately for safety.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News on Wednesday, Rawn, who jumped on Nov. 6, 2009, talked about his experience, directing some of his words to a 25-year-old woman who survived a leap from the bridge on Tuesday.

“Appreciate life,” the 35-year-old Rawn said. “What I would say to her is, ‘This too shall pass.’”

The woman, who jumped around 5 p.m., remains at St. Luke’s Hospital, where she underwent surgery to her leg on Wednesday, officials said.

A little more than six years since he jumped, Rawn is now married and a TD Bank vice president in Providence, R.I. Back in 2009, he said, he was already at a low point when an arrest exposed to his loved ones that he was battling addiction. He saw just one way out of his despair.

One of the reasons Adrian Rawn survived his leap was that he was a swimmer on the Naval Academy's water polo team. Facebook

One of the reasons Adrian Rawn survived his leap was that he was a swimmer on the Naval Academy’s water polo team.

Enlarge There's a happy ending for Adrian Rawn: After jumping, he entered group therapy, where he met his future wife. Facebook

There’s a happy ending for Adrian Rawn: After jumping, he entered group therapy, where he met his future wife.

Enlarge

There’s a happy ending for Adrian Rawn: After jumping, he entered group therapy, where he met his future wife.

“I was kind of, just had that crushing feeling … that’s it, there are no more corners to turn,” Rawn said.

When asked how he survived, the experienced swimmer said, “Well, I wasn’t knocked unconscious, thankfully. And the water wasn’t as cold as it probably was in February. When I jumped, the water was warmer.

“I barely survived.”

The drop lasted just a few seconds, Rawn said.

“Even before I hit the water I was already regretting it. I still remember that,” he said.

MONDAY, SEPT. 2, 2013 PHOTOMel Evans/AP

The plunge from the George Washington Bridge caused Adrian Rawn instant regret — but he lived and is warning others.

Rawn swam on the Naval Academy’s water polo team and he had been caught in riptides before.

“The wind was knocked out of me. That’s the first thing you do, you catch your breath, get the air flowing,” he said. “It’s choppy, so there’s water splashing at your mouth, you’re trying to clear your airway. And then it’s just, try to keep your head above water, it’s just immediately backstroke, you know, occasional freestyle, you know, just to get some momentum.”

He made it to the New Jersey side, and needed to have four pins inserted in his leg for small fractures. He also entered group therapy, where he met his future wife, Jenny. The two married in September 2012.

Rawn said his faith picked up after surviving the plunge.

“I’m a Catholic, a Roman Catholic, and I dove head-first into the Bible,” he said. “Why wasn’t it my day? Why wasn’t it my number? What purpose spared me that I have yet to complete?”

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