The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

May 23, 2012

Second jumper in two days leaps at Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Police are investigating a report that a second person in two days has jumped into the river and plunged over Niagara Falls in a suicide attempt.

The second attempt was believed to have been made Tuesday from the U.S. side of the Niagara River's Horseshoe Falls, where rocks at the base make survival unlikely.

An unidentified man survived a 174-foot plunge over the falls from the Canadian side Monday, but suffered life-threatening injuries, Canadian police said.

He became only the third person to have lived after going over the falls without a safety device.

Witnesses said the man climbed over a retaining wall above the falls and jumped into the fast-flowing water. He surfaced a few seconds later below the falls near an observation platform.

The man was rescued and flown by air ambulance to a hospital in Hamilton, Ontario.

Niagara Falls is a popular tourist attraction that spans the U.S.-Canadian border. Daredevils in barrels and other protective devices have survived going over the falls.

High-wire walker Nik Wallenda, a descendant of the "Flying Wallenda" circus family, has announced he will attempt to walk a tightrope over the falls June 15. He would be the first person to do so in more than a century.

Suicides are common at the falls, but authorities don't routinely report them for fear they would encourage copycats.

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