Man Survives Being Swept Over Niagara Falls

High water level may have saved man in crisis
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2019 2:32 AM CDT
Man Survives Being Swept Over Niagara Falls
The Maid of the Mist navigates the turbulent waters of the lower Niagara river at the base of Horseshoe Falls, as seen from Niagara Falls State Park in Niagara Falls, NY.   (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

A man "in crisis" jumped into the Niagara River and was swept over Niagara Falls early Tuesday, authorities say—but if it was a suicide attempt, it was not a successful one. The man, who went over Horseshoe Falls, by far the biggest of the three waterfalls at Niagara Falls, survived and was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, the CBC reports. Police say the man, who was seen climbing a retaining wall before entering the river, was found sitting on rocks near the water's edge on the Canadian side of the falls. When the man went over the 188-foot waterfall around 4am, water was flowing over the falls at a rate of 120,000 cubic feet per second, authorities say. He is believed to be the fifth person since 1960 to survive going over the falls without being in a ball or barrel.

The high water level may have saved the man's life by tossing him over rocks at the bottom, reports the Buffalo News. "I know firsthand the lake levels are at all-time high levels. When Lake Erie is higher and flowing more robustly to Lake Ontario, there is a better chance of missing the massive boulders under the Horseshoe Falls," Jim Diodati, the mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario, tells the News. "The only way you would ever have a chance to survive that kind of a fall was to overshoot the large rocks below." He adds: "For this individual, hopefully he will see it as a blessing." (An empty inflatable ball and a crashed drone were found after this daredevil's death at the falls.)

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