These 15 People Went Over Niagara Falls and Survived [List]
Many people have lost their lives at the falls, including suicides, accidents and stunts.
An estimated 5,000 bodies were found at the foot of the falls between 1850 and 2011. On average, between 20 and 30 people die going over the falls each year.
However, there have been quite a few people who have survived a trip over the falls - both protected and unprotected. Here are their stories:
October 24, 1901
Annie Edson Taylor was the first documented person to go over the falls and survive. She tested out her method first on a cat. Once the cat survived, she got in her oak barrel and successfully descended over Horseshoe Falls on her 63rd birthday, October 24, 1901. She did not sustain any significant injuries. Annie was ultimately looking for a payday from going over the falls, but never really made a fortune from the feat.
Credit: BRIGHT SIDE via Youtube
July 25, 1911
Bobby Leach, who also survived a trip over the Horseshoe Falls was not quite as lucky as Annie. Even though he survived, he spent 6 months in the hospital healing from his injuries - two broken knee caps and a fractured jaw.
July 4, 1928
Jean Lussier took a trip over the Horseshoe Falls and survived in his vessel of choice, which costs $7,000,
A large ball with a spring steel frame and a rubber covering.
He retired in Niagara Falls, New York and made a modest living selling pieces of his rubber ball.
July 9, 1960
Roger Woodward, unlike the previous three survivors, was not a daredevil seeking fame and fortune by going over the falls. The seven-year-old boy was in a fishing boat, when the boat capsized and he went over the falls. The owner of the boat died, but Roger survived his trip over the Horseshoe Falls. He was rescued by the Maid of the Mist.
July 15, 1961
William Fitzgerald, also known as Nathan Boya went over the Horsehoe Falls in a metal vessel dubbed Plunge-O-Sphere. He was the first African-American to go over the falls.
Nathan Boya appeared as a contestant on I've Got a Secret on August 30, 1961. His secret was "I went over Niagara Falls in a 6-foot ball." Bill Cullen and Betsy Palmer questioned him. The other panelists, Henry Morgan and Bess Meyerson, recognized him. He was later a contestant on To Tell The Truth on an episode that aired January 15, 1962. Three of the four members of the celebrity panel (Tom Poston, Dina Merrill and Johnny Carson) guessed him correctly; Betty White did not.
Credit: BUZZR via Youtube
July 3, 1984
Karel Soucek was a daredevil who survived his trip over the falls, only to die during another stunt to pay for his dream of a memorabilia museum.
On January 19, 1985, as Soucek was enclosed in his barrel, 180 feet above the floor of the Astrodome, the barrel was released prematurely and began spinning as it fell toward the floor. Instead of landing in the center of the tank of water, the barrel hit the rim. Foam pads which had been placed at the bottom of the tank to cushion Soucek's fall had floated to the surface before the barrel was released. Soucek, severely injured, was still alive when he was cut from the barrel but died while the Astrodome stunt show was still going on.
August 18, 1985
Steve Trotter successfully went over the Horseshoe Falls during his second try. The first was stopped by police. At 22-years-old, he was the youngest daredevil to survive going over the falls.
October 5, 1985
David Munday went over the Horseshoe Falls in a barrel. After the successful attempt, he tried a couple more times.
September 28, 1989
Peter De Bernardi and Jeffery James Petkovich went over the Horsehoe Falls in an effort to bring attention to an anti-drugs campaign.
September 26, 1993
David Munday made it over the Horseshoe Falls successfully again.
June 18, 1995
Not to be outdone by David Munday, Steve Trotter took a second trip over the Horseshoe falls with Lori Martin. He became the second person to survive going over the falls twice. He didn't walk away unscathed though, he had a fractured back, spent two weeks in jail and had to pay $14,700.
Credit: trapperdan via Youtube
October 22, 2003
Kirk Jones somehow managed to survive a fall over the falls without the help of any protection. Legend says he and his friends were drunk and planned to record the stunt, although they couldn't operate the recorder. He says it was a suicide attempt. He was banned from Canada due to the incident. He died during a second attempt on on April 19, 2017.
Credit: Scripps National News via Youtube
March 10, 2009
In an ironic twist of fate, an unnamed Canadian man survived a suicide attempt over the Horseshoe Falls. He did suffer a cut to his head and hyperthermia.
May 21, 2012
Another unnamed man survived going over the Horseshoe Falls withou any protection. Witnesses say he jumped into the Niagara River. He sustained several injuries - broken ribs, a collapsed lung and cuts.
July 8, 2019
An unnamed, who witnesses say was in distress, jumped into the river once police arrived on the scene. He went over the Horseshoe Falls and was founding sitting on the rocks at the lower Niagara River basin.