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xx Man survives plunge at Niagara Falls
« Thread started on: Oct 21st, 2003, 11:27am »

This kinda qualifies as a miracle

Man survives plunge at Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario, Oct. 21 — A man survived a plunge over Niagara Falls with only the clothes on his back, witnesses said, the first person known to have done it and lived.

WITNESSES DESCRIBED seeing the man float by Monday in the swift Niagara River, go head-first over the churning 180-foot waterfall and then pull himself out of the water onto rocks below.
“He just looked calm. He just was gliding by so fast. I was in shock really that I saw a person go by,” Brenda McMullen told WIVB-TV in Buffalo.
Water rushes over the falls at a rate of 150,000 gallons per second.
“I saw him disappear over the edge of the falls,” McMullen’s husband, Terry McMullen, said. The Columbus, Ohio, tourists snapped photographs afterward, showing the man dressed in street clothes, apparently lying on the shoreline at the base of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
“The guy just basically jumped in the Falls,” said witness Diedre Love, of Largo, Md., who was at the Falls with her husband to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. “I saw him go over. He didn’t yell or anything.”
Only one other person known to have survived a plunge over the Canadian falls without a barrel or other apparatus was a 7-year-old boy wearing a life preserver who was thrown into the water in a 1960 boating accident.
No one has ever survived a trip over the narrower and rockier American falls.
Video shown by the Buffalo television station showed officers walking from the scene with a shirtless man in handcuffs and a blanket covering his face.
“At this point, there does not appear to be any evidence of foul play,” the Niagara Parks Police said in written statement.
Officers would not release the man’s name nor would they comment on why the man went over the Falls. He did not appear to have serious injuries as he was led away.

Lynda Satelmajer, of Brampton, Ontario, said she and her family watched the man as he prepared to get in the water and then watched him go over the Falls, all in smiles.

“He seemed a bit edgy, kind of jumping around,” she said. “He walked over to where we were standing and he jumped and slid down on his backside and went over the brink.”
“It was really freaky, actually. He was smiling.”
About a dozen daredevils have taken the plunge in barrels or other protective chambers since 1901. About half have survived.
Suicides are not uncommon at Niagara Falls, although police are reluctant to give numbers.
Parks Police said emergency crews responded to a report of a man going over the Canadian falls around 12:45 p.m. Rescuers descended the gorge in a tourist elevator to an observation deck and reached him from there.
He was taken to Greater Niagara General Hospital for treatment, said police.

© 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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