Niagara Parks Police Chief Doug Kane
said the American man believed to be in his late 30's refused medical assistance at the bottom of the falls. He is only the third person known to live through a plunge over the 180 foot falls in recent years. It is thought that the man was attempting to end his life.
tried to help the man as he swam away from them. A helicopter was brought in and using the wind from the blades forced him to get close enough for rescuers to grab him.
"He wasn't co-operative," pilot Ruedi Hafen, owner of Niagara Falls Helicopter, told the Associated Press. "He didn't try to be helpful. We had a sling on him, and he got out of it."
The man was taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia and a head injury. He has since lapsed into unconsciousness and is in critical condition.
Years ago people would foolishly attempt to survive Horseshoe Falls inside a barrel. They often made it home in a coffin. Today such a stunt would get a person a fine, jail time or a spot six feet under.