May 21, 2018

Man dies in Niagara Falls after surviving 2003 plunge

18 June 2017, 01:49 | Opal Carroll

Niagara Falls. Credit WBFO News file

Niagara Falls

A man, Kirk R. Jones, 53, of Spring Hill, Florida, died while trying to survive going over Niagara Falls inside an inflatable ball after he made a successful jump during his first attempt, in October 2003, without any protection.

Jones was charged for unlawfully performing a stunt and mischief in a Canadian court.

Her stunt also stole the Guinness World Record from Nik, who had entered the record books in 2011 for hanging by his teeth 250 feet (76 meters) above Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.

Jones reportedly told his friend he would probably make a lot of money if he was able to do the stunt and survive. "I ask that no one ever try such a awful stunt again I understand what I did was wrong".

Erendira Wallenda and her husband come from a long-line of daredevils and circus performers, whose acts and record-setting stunts have astounded the world since the 1940s.

A 10-foot ball, one that could hold somebody inside, was discovered spinning in the rapids above the falls and after it went over the Maid of Mist tour boat recovered it.

Three others have survived unprotected plunges over the falls since Jones did it.

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When Kirk went over the 180-foot drop the first time, he suffered broken ribs and a bruised spine.

She said it was windier above the falls than she had expected, but said it was comforting for her to look up to the helicopter and see her husband inside.

"I just had to put myself back to my backyard training and I felt good enough that I was able to hang by my teeth a second time", she said in a press conference to reporters.

After briefly blacking out, he found himself in the churning waters at the base of the falls: "I could not believe it".

On June 15, 2012, daredevil Nik Wallenda made headlines walking a tight rope over Niagara Falls.

He said he remembered spiralling at great speed with "unbelievable" pressure on his head and then feeling pain as he hit a slab of granite at the bottom.

There's no evidence the guide was ever published.

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