2nd Attempt at Going Over Niagara Kills Daredevil

Police believe Kirk R. Jones was trying to go over it in an inflatable ball
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2017 9:45 AM CDT
2nd Attempt at Going Over Niagara Kills Daredevil
In this Aug. 13, 2004, file photo, Kirk Jones poses for a photo at Terrapin Point on the American side of Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls State Park.   (Chip Somodevilla/Detroit Free Press via AP, File)

A Florida man tempted fate twice, and the second time proved his undoing: New York State Park Police on Thursday said the body of Kirk R. Jones of Spring Hill had been recovered from the Niagara River near the mouth of Lake Ontario roughly two weeks earlier. Syracuse.com reports that's about 12 miles downriver from Niagara Falls, which Jones was apparently attempting to go over—again. Jones in 2003 became the first person to have ever gone over the 170-foot Horseshoe Falls portion of Niagara Falls "with only the clothes on his back," as the Niagara Gazette puts it, and survive. The Buffalo News details what those clothes were: jeans, sneakers, and two winter coats.

Investigators believe the 53-year-old on April 19 tried to recreate the feat with a twist, going over the falls in a 10-foot inflatable ball. An empty ball was retrieved by the Maid of the Mist tour boat; Jones' body was found June 2. Following the Oct. 20, 2003, stunt, Jones said depression was what led him to attempt the stunt—which he immediately had second thoughts about, and which left him with broken ribs and a bruised spine. Syracuse.com reports that after pleading guilty in Canada to mischief and unlawfully performing a stunt, he was barred from the country for life and had to pay a $3,000 fine. The CBC reports three other people have gone over the falls unprotected and survived since Jones did it. (In an unbelievable feat, two Canadians once climbed up the falls.)

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