Tuesday 10 December 2019

Man survives 170ft fall over Niagara

Mark Hughes in New York

Defying staggering odds, a man has become only the third person in history to survive plunging over Niagara Falls without a safety device.

In an apparent suicide attempt, the man fell 170ft into the water, but escaped with relatively minor injuries and managed to get himself to shore unaided. Had he been swept down river, he would almost certainly have drowned.

Only two other people are known to have survived going over the falls without any kind of safety device. One of them was a stuntman.

Niagara Falls carry water at a rate of 150,000 gallons a second and are the most powerful in North America.

Niagara Parks Police recovered CCTV footage of the man, believed to be in his 30s or 40s, leaping into the Niagara River at about 10.20am on Monday.

In the incident which unfolded in front of hundreds of tourists, he can be seen vaulting a short fence and jumping about 30ft into the water below. Almost instantly, he is swept over the edge of the falls. But after hitting the bottom he emerges, minus his shirt, before clinging to a rock and waiting for the emergency services to arrive.

He was later airlifted to hospital with broken ribs and cuts to the head.

Paul Gromosiak, a Niagara historian, said there were one or two suicide bids a week at the falls, including those who were rescued in the water above the drop. "There are odds that you will survive, but they're so minuscule it's impossible to comprehend," he said. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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