May 22nd, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Man survives plunge over Niagara Falls; 2nd attempt reported Tuesday

A man survived a 180-foot plunge over Niagara Falls on Monday, becoming only the fourth person to do so without any protective devices, according to news reports.

The man, who has not been identified, climbed over a retaining wall above the Canadian Horseshoe Falls before jumping into the Niagara River and being swept over the falls, according to a report from CNN affiliate CTV.

Thought to be around 40 years old, the man sustained injuries including several broken ribs, a collapsed lung and gashes to his head and shoulders, according to a report in the Buffalo News.

He was pulled to safety by emergency crews on the Canadian side of the river after collapsing in waist-deep water, according to a report from CNN affiliate WGRZ in Buffalo.

"When I first looked at him, it was quite apparent that he was in a state not only of shock, hypothermia had probably started to set in," Sgt. Chris Gallagher of the Niagara Falls Parks Police told WGRZ.

"He just happened to come down the river into an eddy, and that enabled him to get out. If he had been in the main current, he wouldn't have survived," Niagara Falls, Ont., Fire Department platoon chief Dan Orescanin told the News.

The man was in stable condition at Hamilton General Hospital in Ontario on Tuesday morning, according to a report from the CBC.

On Tuesday morning, New York State Park Police said they'd received a report on a second person going over the falls, this time the American Falls, the Buffalo News reported.

Lt. Patrick Moriarty said they were interviewing witnesses and believe it was a suicide attempt, the News reported.

The man who survived on Monday is only the fourth person to survive a plunge over the Horseshoe Falls, historian Paul Gromosiak told the News.

The others include a 30-year-old Canadian man in 2009, a Michigan man in 2003 and a 7-year-old boy in 1960, according to the news reports.

"There are odds that you will survive, but they're so minuscule that it's impossible to comprehend," Gromosiak told the News. "Out of the thousands who have come here to commit suicide over the years, we have two who did survive."

Monday's incident had not yet been labeled a suicide attempt, according to the reports.

Body of woman swept over falls recovered

Woman swept to death over Niagara Falls

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Filed under: Canada • Niagara Falls
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. Gravity

    You know your life's a failure when even killing yourself fails.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Too true...

      May 22, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Me!

      I bet it was a RUSH!

      May 22, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. JD

    Good thing he washed up on the Canada side so he'll have access to health care.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • livingston

      Sad but true.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Stacy

      He has access to health care on the US side also. The difference is simple: should he have to pay for his own health care? or should the rest of the population pay for it whether he chooses to work or not?

      May 22, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Portland tony

    Was he "bullied" into jumping?

    May 22, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

    You know, sometimes people's lives are so miserable that just bothering to even get out of bed in the morning is torture. This world isn't sunshine and rainbows and some people get the short end of the stick. It is just a fact of life. For some people suicide is a way to escape a life of pure mental and emotional torture. Of course, in most suicide cases, it is only a brief moment that moves someone to do it. In some cases, however, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. For these people, suicide is the only way they can attain peace.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • mark

      and sometimes the torture isn't anything that one can really see. sometimes ones life can look quite fine and even be enviable by some. the dangers of having to live within our subjective realities. 😦 and one thing i sort of noticed is that it might not be that life has become much worse, but sometimes death doesn't seem that bad. i guess all it takes is a perfect storm of things to make the one seem preferable to the other just long enough to take action...

      May 22, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. Me!

    Did he went head 1st?

    May 22, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron in California

      No he goed feet first

      May 22, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Tommy Chong

      LOL @ the both of you!

      May 22, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Hot Carl

      Ron, good one! Laughing like a mongoloid here, LOL.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. Truthbetold

    Committing suicide is very selfish.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      I agree. How dare someone make a decision about their own life. They should make decisions about THEIR life that I want them too, that's totally unselfish.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • puzzled

      Correct.People think they can just disappear but they actually splatter their inner pain all over the people they know.It's a legacy that harms everyone.

      May 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ron in California

    Why bother with people like this? If it was an attempted suicide or accident...these people put rescuers at risk.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. ClemVinson

    Well, if we're gonna accept suicide so matter of factly, lets make a gameshow outta this one. I'm sure spike TV would bre interested in "Niagara Extreme" (brought to you by Viagra. Get it up before plunging in that wet man-eating hole.) Or, you can get your head out of your ass and realize that if life ain't fun, you're doing it wrong. Ya know, either way. One thing for sure though, suicide for anything less than Fox broadcasting is surely not the answer...

    May 22, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Justa

      I'll bet you have issues with women, don't you?

      May 22, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. mark

    thank goodness he got pulled to the canadian side (in case he didn't have health insurance).

    May 22, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. Stephen

    Good thing he came up on the Canadian side...so their taxpayers have to pay for this man's stupidity through his medical bill.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • RoyMyBoy

      Health care is a freebie in Canada. Wait, we too have free healthcare in the US. It's called ObamaCare.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      Healthcare is not a freebie anywhere. In Canada they have made a decision to force EVERYONE to pay for everyone ELSES healthcare is all (including idiots like this guy). I'll just be responsible for myself and my family thank you very much...oh, and by the way, he wouldn't have been refused care in the US, he just would have been BILLED FOR IT!

      May 22, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Highland

      Typical socialist. How is it free? Someone pays for it. It's called the "taxpayer". Of course it's free to you bums that only take and never give. It's free, what stupid reasoning or lack of it.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • puzzled

      @roy my boy.You don't have a clue about Obama's health-care plan,do you?

      May 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. whoknew

    I don't think anyone climbs over one of those walls, if they didn't have suicide in mind.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jessie

    And yet they post a picture of the American Falls. C'mon CNN, get it right.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Ellen

      This is the same picture they always use when something happens at the falls. I enjoy seeing it even if it's not the falls the article is about – makes me homesick. A lot of people don't realize there are two (2) falls.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Aquaman

      Nobody survives going over this side. You'll be dashed upon the rocks. The Horseshoe falls side plunges into a pool deeper than the falls are high, so some chance of survival if you don't get stuck in the hydraulic, and it's May. He'd be a real aquaman if he did it in January.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. ferari lover

    I travel over falls in barrel in 1947.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jeb

    He had the sense to wash up on the Canadian side to get the free health care.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      And then stands in line to wait for said "free" healthcare

      May 22, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Sense

      Canada doesn't have free healthcare! Someone is paying for it, just like the U.S. will. They just tax the hell out of successful people to help the lazy and illegal ones.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • puzzled

      It ain't free Jeb.We ALL pay through different kinds of tax.To those that think poorer folks are getting a free ride you are wrong.THEY pay a greater percentage of their income in the sales taxes than the rest of us.Even the Americans and other visitors contribute.For helping us Canucks get (so called)FREE care..Thanks!!

      May 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Katie

    What an idiot. They should have left him there and not expended any resources towards saving him...

    May 22, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
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