Man in crisis survives plunge over Niagara Falls

This file photo shows the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ont. Sunday July 11, 2004. CP PHOTO/Jonathan Hayward

A man who was swept over the Canadian side of Niagara Falls has survived the plunge with non-life-threatening injuries, police say.

Niagara Parks Police were called to the edge of the falls early Tuesday at 4 a.m. amid reports of a man in crisis at the brink of the water.

The man climbed a retaining wall after officers arrived, and he dropped into the rushing waters above the Horseshoe Falls, police said.

Rescue teams searched the basin below and eventually came upon the man sitting on rocks near the Journey Behind the Falls observation platform.

The man was transported to hospital for further care.

Niagara Falls is notoriously deadly and has proven fatal to many who have tried to survive a plunge over the falls.

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The rapids above the Horseshoe Falls can reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres an hour before sweeping objects — or people — over a 57-metre plunge into the deep basin below. The Whirlpool Rapids below the falls can be just as deadly, with speeds of up to 48 kilometres an hour.

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Water from the falls feeds into the Lower Niagara River.

Several people have gone over the Horseshoe Falls in barrels, but it’s extremely rare to survive the fall without some form of protection.

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The incident on Tuesday occurred exactly 59 years to the day after the first known case of a person surviving an unprotected plunge over the falls. American Roger Woodward, 7, survived going over the falls with only a life-jacket on July 9, 1960.

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The first known adult to survive the falls without protection was Kirk Jones, an American who accomplished the feat in 2003. He died in 2017 while attempting to go over the Horseshoe Falls a second time.

Where to find help

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionDepression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

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