A man who was reportedly “in crisis” when he jumped over Niagara Falls on Tuesday morning survived the 188-foot fall.
Niagara Parks Police were alerted of a man “in crisis” who had climbed over the retaining wall at the famous Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the border. The man, who was not identified, jumped into the tempestuous waters of the Niagara River. Moments later, he was swept over the immense waterfall, and disappeared into a giant spray of mist that fills the canyon, Buffalo News reported.
Authorities searching for the man in the lower area of the river did not have high hopes for finding him, but to their surprise, they found him sitting on some rocks at the river’s edge below the “Journey Behind the Falls” observation deck. Not only was he alive, but he did not suffer any life-threatening injuries. He was reportedly taken to a hospital for further assessment.
The man is the fifth person since 1960 to survive a trip over the falls without the use of a barrel or some other type of protective container.
Michael Clarkson, author of The River of Lost Souls: What We Might Learn From Niagara Falls Suicides, said he believed that the man might have survived the fall because the high water levels that had been flowing from the river tossed him over the huge rocks at the bottom of the falls.
Mayor Jim Diodati of Niagara Falls, Ontario, said Clarkson’s reason might have some validity, adding that record high water levels in Lake Erie and Ontario might have also played a role in saving the man’s life.
“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,” Diodati said.
“The only way you would ever have a chance to survive that kind of a fall was to overshoot the large rocks below.”
“In this case, for this individual, hopefully he will see it as a blessing,” he added.
— CBC Canadian News (@CBCCanada) July 9, 2019
Rapids in the Niagara River can reach up to 25 mph, and rapids just before the falls can reach up to 68 mph.
Buffalo News reported that approximately 25 people take their lives by jumping over the falls each year. Some thrill seekers who have attempted a plunge over the falls have also met similar fates.