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. Dave

    I am pretty sure we will start hearing from some of the idiotic Republicans soon enough. They will find a way to blame Obama for this. Just wait and see. I can just hear Sean Hannity and his Fox friends now “man so discouraged and desperate because of Obama’s socialist policies jumps over Niagara falls and luckily, the hope of a Republican sweep in November saved him from drowning.”

    May 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Amadea

    So, even suicide gets pigeonholed into right or left wing territory? What a bunch! And, Mr. Lawrence, for your information, CBC reporters, writers and newscasters can dance circles around CNN staff, any day. The reporting is fairer, far more balanced (not difficult), more insightful and softer peddled. Some CNN newscasters / program hosts need to dial back their ferocity. It is becoming increasingly difficult to watch Soledad O'Brien, for example. She comes on like a she-tiger against anything that breathes 'right'. Pathetic.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Wes

    Considering Karma is a fictional idea and doesn't actually exist, you probably shouldn't spend your time worrying about it.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ThePreacherTheTeacher

    Wow, I guess he won that bet.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bobs

    Wow everyone on here is very outspoken about suicide – selfish, get over it, etc – unless you've been there yourself or had a relative die in this manner, I think you should consider that for some people it isn't as easy as "getting over it" or getting on with it. Sometimes, as sad as it is, it appears to be some people's only way out. So incredibly sad – no-one has thought about how this man will now carry on. He wanted to kill himself, and he survived. I hope he sees this as a ray of hope in his life instead.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      Bs. Shoulder him with rescue bill. And charge him with attempted murder. If he really wanted to die their are plenty of easy ways out. Also i personally am not anti suicide

      May 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Polly

      @Mickeyheartless: I hope you never experience that sort of depression yourself or lose a loved one to suicide. Really, you should be ashamed of yourself.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • longtooth

      You are so right. Suicide is not a rational decision. It's done by people who have lost all hope, and that is very sad. It's also sad that so many don't see that, and throw stones at the very ones who need the most help.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ACBme

    Wow. Just watched the video that was added after this story was originally posted. Apparently they have surveillance video of the guy before he climbed over the rail and after. I'd be interested to see if there was anyone around him that could have stopped him but did nothing.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. stevefl00d

    See, it's not so dangerous. Go for it, Mitt!

    May 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • You

      he can follow Barrack......

      May 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • well done

      nicely played, sir/madam.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jerry

    Lucky he landed on the Canadian side, now he gets his hospital care for free

    May 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Peter

    There is a factual error in this story.
    Another boy fell over in 1980 but was saved. It was caught on film in Superman 2.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lee

    If that was a suicide attempt that would not be the way I would want to go. Too skeery. I hope the guy gets some help and realizes that he is lucky to be alive. Perhaps a new outlook on life now.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. manchild

    was it fun

    May 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brian

    Having been a counselor/social worker for 17years I can tell you Suicide is NOT ALWAYS an irrational decision. I know that's hard to understand but it is true. We can never truly put ourselves in someone else's place so we should stop trying and just be understanding, kind, and sympathetic to others.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mary L

    I lived near NIagara falls for 9 years as a child. I remember the incident when a small boy went over the Canadian Falls in 1960 and survived, helped considerably by the fact that he was wearing a life jacket. He and his family were boating on the upper river - and just like a bad dream, the motor conked out and the boat and its passengers were swept to the brink of the falls. To this day I occasionally have what I call a "Falls dream," which is always frightening. There have been times when the water has been diverted away from one side of the Falls, and one can clearly see all the rocks and huge boulders that are part of the waterfall's geology. (Under the water on the American side is almost a giant stepping-stone stairway of huge, jagged rocks.) It is a miracle that anyone survives the drop, including the less-than-sensible people who build crazy contraptions and go over on purpose.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cindy

    If this man is mentally ill, I hope he receives help. Otherwise, he needs to to go to jail. Many wonderfull, and
    brave people risked their lives to save his.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Whatever

    Good thing they took him to the Canadian side...if he came to the US he'd be committing suicide again when he got the hospital bill.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
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