Woman swept to death over Niagara Falls
The Horseshoe Falls is pictured during winter 2009.
June 1st, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Woman swept to death over Niagara Falls

A woman was killed when she was swept over Niagara Falls, according to news reports.

Witnesses said the woman appeared to be alive as she approached the brink of the Horseshoe Falls about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, reported CNN affiliate WIVB-TV in Buffalo, New York.

The Maid of the Mist, the vessel that takes tourists to the foot of the falls in the Niagara River, dispatched a boat to help her, but she was dead when it reached her, according to the WIVB report.

The woman has not been identified, and her death is under investigation by the Niagara Parks police and Niagara Regional Police, according to a report in the Niagara Gazette. Foul play was not suspected, WIVB reported.

On Monday, two men in a small boat came within 700 feet of the brink of the falls before they were pulled to safety, CNN affiliate WGRZ-TV in Buffalo reported. The motor failed on the men's boat, and the current carried them toward the falls before rescuers were able to hook the craft with a rescue line, according to the report.

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Filed under: Canada • Niagara Falls
soundoff (504 Responses)
  1. b. Slider

    at least they all knew the proper spelling of niagara, genius

    June 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      But u use curse words hidden by characters so you can still make your irrelevant point?

      June 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. unowhoitsme

    CNN, wait until you have the whole story BEFORE you write and post an article.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ijreilly

    What does the part about the two guys in the boat have to do with the woman falling? Did the author just lump the two guys in a boat story in there because both stories were kind of similar and were a day apart?

    June 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Todd Balstrom

    Talk about a CURRENT news story. HEY-OH!!

    June 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim


      June 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. InFormed99

    There used to be an old crazy man who lived on Goat island a number of years ago. He would frequently take skinny dips in some of the less turbulent pools or sometimes hang from a branch over the more turbulent parts of the water. After not seeing him for a number of days, a ranger went looking for him, but all he found was a neatly folded pile of clothes beside a large tree that overhung a very turbulent part of the approach...(True story).

    June 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Niagra Diver

    You can't just jump in. It takes years of dedicated training.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • jrod

      It is pathetic that this is cnn's top story!

      June 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • publius enigma

      Top story? Something is screwed up in your browser I guess.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viagra Diver

      Taking some pharmaceuticals beforehand can help.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      NIAGRA FALLS!!!! Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch....

      June 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moe

      I walked up to him, I smashed him, I hit him, I bonked him, I bopped him, I socked him and I mashed his face and I knocked him down

      June 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saftgek

    Incredible, the number of people placing themselves in harm's way for whatever reason. Certainly, no one has any business going anywhere near the Falls – unless an area designated by officials.

    My city (Pierre, SD) is currently in flood threat mode. One would think the reasonable, responsible thing to do is avoid the Missouri River and Lake Oahe. No, some people in the area go to the Oahe Dam AND operate boats on the Missouri River – irrespective of the high risks.

    Reckless behavior seems to be at epidemic levels in our society. Wouldn't it be great if people actually engaged brain before putting body in gear?

    June 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • CalgarySandy

      A similar type of nimrod surfs in hurricanes. I guess some people are addicted to adrenaline.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gethetruth

      The reason people behave this way is because of playing video games when they were younger. The American male does not really grow up, he still keeps playing with his toys, his brain has been conditioned to play the fool !

      June 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Unfortunately, people are 'addicted' to alot of things nowadays.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kevin

    Wow! How ironic. I was literally just researching people that had went over the falls yesterday... My thoughts are with her friends and family.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alanis

      Please look up the meaning of irony.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • frozen robot

      That's coincidence, not irony. Had she been the one researching, that would have been irony.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judy

      Aren't you glad you have frozen robot and Alanis to set you straight?? Must have made their days to criticize someone.
      AND Alanis Morrisette's song, "Isn't is ironic?" kills the meaning of the word. Did you know that, Alanis?

      June 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • frozen robot

      @ Judy. Criticism would have been, "What are you.....an idiot? That's not irony you illiterate moron" Instead, what we offered were suggestions.

      I love your double question marks for emphasis though.

      June 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. me

    Did they find the barrel?

    June 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. malsings07

    Ok, I missed something did she commit suicide? how did she get so close to the edge?

    June 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      since she wasn't in a vessel (i.e. trying to survive) my guess would be suicide.. sad

      June 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • MTrop

      I don't understand how being in a vessel correlates to the desire to survive, and therefore means that the cause had to be suicide. She could have gotten too close and fallen.. or fallen over the railing.. or made a boneheaded move to try to swim and underestimated the strength of the current.. It could be any number of things, the surface of which I'm sure I have barely scratched. Lack of boat does not necessarily equal suicide...

      June 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      MTROP.. have you ever been there? you have to TRY to fall over those railings!

      June 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buffalo Boy

      Linda, it does not take all that much to fall over the railings at the Falls. There are also numerous footbridges that span the Niagara in the vicinity of the rapids and Falls. Admittedly, the only access to the Horseshoe Falls other than the Three Sisters bridge is along the banks of the Canadian side, and you should be capable of pulling yourself to safety.

      June 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lwatson

    The Schuylkill River in Philadelphia has grab lines across the river for people to hold on to if they are caught in the current. This after at least one death occurred from going over the falls. Why can't lines be installed over the river at Niagara??

    June 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • CalgarySandy

      I suggest you go to Niagara Falls and reconsider your suggestion. The Schuylkill River is a puny little stream compared to these falls.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dusten

      They should probably put safety nets across the Grand Canyon while they're at it.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Floyd

      They cannot, or rather they won’t because it borders two countries; Canada and the USA and it would compromise border security.
      If this is suicide, then it was the person's intent to go over and the lines would not do anything anyway. Best advice: stay away from fast moving water, especially above a waterfall. You cannot teach stupid people not to be stupid which is why they have the Darwin Awards.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joy

    ok, I give up. Where was she before she went over the falls? Was she in a boat that she could not control? Was she on land, looking at the falls, and fell over a railing of some sort? Was she swiming? Where's the rest of the story???

    June 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dusten

      I believe you might be confused... this isn't Paul Harvey. CNN only provides you with part of the story.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Daniela

    I just can't get over the lack of empathy in many parts of this community. Regardless of how this tragedy happened, it is extremely sad and my prayers are with this woman's family. I cannot even imagine the grief they will have to endure and it is just so disrespectful for anyone to poke fun at this. Good luck when something bad happens to you or your loved ones -perhaps then you will see the light.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mark

    I visited Niagara Falls in the mid 1990s. I was amazed to see multiple people who were wading barefoot in the shallow water a few hundred feet upstream from the falls. Soon after several police officers arrived to arrest them. All it would have taken is one slip and any one of them would have been goners. Talk about stupidity.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emme

      Actually, that's very close to what happened to a boy my mothered once taught. When he was a senior, he and some friends went up to Niagara Falls and he climbed over the railings upstream of the Falls to stand on some rocks at the edge of the river and pose for pictures. A wave came along and swept him off, and he was swept over the Falls and to his death.

      People automatically assume suicide, but it could just as easily have been carelessness or that sense of immortality many people have.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gary Dell'Abate

    Baba Booey Baba Booey!

    June 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Paul

      Howard Stern stinks. Opie and Anthony rule!

      June 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
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