Person Survives Plunge Over Niagara Falls


niagara[Videos below.] A man has survived a plunge over Niagara Falls, clinging to a log long enough for a private helicopter to create a current that pushed him to safety, according to reports.
Investigators tell a Buffalo television station, WGRZ, that the victim was semiconscious when he was rescued and was taken to a hospital in Niagara Falls, Canada. His condition was not immediately known. While investigators were not yet calling the leap a suicide attempt, they say the man did enter the water on his own. Authorities got a call from a witness telling them a man had jumped into the Horseshoe Falls, as the Canadian Falls are known. A short time later, he was seen near the base of the falls, clinging to a log. A private helicopter from Niagara Falls Helicopter was called in and got within three metres of the victim. Wind from the chopper’s blades forced enough of a current to push him closer to shore where rescuers could get to him.

The last person known to survive a plunge over the falls was Kirk Jones, a former auto parts salesman from Michigan who climbed down a small embankment and jumped into the Niagara River on Oct. 20, 2003.

Jones said he had been depressed and had been drinking vodka and cola when he went over the famous falls on the Canadian side, a drop of 54 meters.

At least 17 people – not including suicide attempts – are known to have gone over the falls.

Niagara Falls consists of three waterfalls: the American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.

Here is a list of people known to have gone over the falls:

Oct. 24, 1901 – Annie Edison Taylor is the first person to go over the Horseshoe Falls in an oak barrel.

July 25, 1911 – Englishman Bobby Leach goes over in a steel barrel, becoming the first man to complete the task.

July 11, 1920 – George Stevens – known as the “English Daredevil” – dies in his attempt to ride over in an oak barrel.

July, 4, 1928 – Jean Lussier, a French Canadian, survives in a steel reinforced rubber ball.

July 5, 1930 – George Stathakis dies when his oak barrel is caught behind the Horseshoe Falls for 16 hours.

Aug., 5, 1951 – The inner tube and canvas barrel used by William “Red” Hill Jr. breaks apart in the upper rapids before plunging over the falls. Hill’s body is recovered the next day.

July, 9 1960 – Roger Woodward, 7, is accidentally swept over the Horseshoe Falls. The survival of Woodward, who was wearing only a life jacket, is lauded as the “Miracle at Niagara.”

July, 15, 1961 – William Fitzgerald goes over in a rubber and steel ball he uses for the feat the “Plunge-O-Sphere.”

July, 2, 1984 – Karel Soucek survives using a custom-made steel and plastic barrel.

Aug. 18, 1985 – Steve Trotter rides over in a foamed-lined pickle barrel surrounded by large inner tubes.

Oct. 5, 1985 – Dave Munday goes over in a barrel consisting of a 1,500 litre plastic tank surrounded by plastic foam.

Sept. 28, 1989 – Peter DeBernardi and Jeff Petkovich are the first two-person team to go over. They use a barrel made from a 3.6 m steel-reinforced tank.

June, 5, 1990 – Jessie Sharp plunges to his death while attempting the stunt in a 3.6 m red kayak. His body is never found.

Sept. 26, 1993 – Using a converted diving bell, Dave Munday becomes the first person to successfully ride over the falls twice.

June, 18 1995 – Steve Trotter goes over the falls for a second time in a barrel constructed from two water heaters welded together. Trotter and his partner Lori Martin are the second two-person team to ride over the falls. Martin is the second woman to perform the feat.

Oct. 1, 1995 – Robert “Firecracker” Overacker dies while trying to go over the falls on a Jet Ski.

Oct. 20, 2003 – Kirk Jones survives a plunge over Niagara Falls with only the clothes on his back.

The following is a video of the helicopter heading to take today’s man to safety:

[media id=30 width=400 height=300]

[media id=31 width=400 height=300]

{AP/Elisha Newscenter}