Rebecca Burger was a lifestyle blogger who was killed when a whipped cream dispenser suddenly exploded, The impact from the dispenser struck Rebecca'a chest and she died from a cardiac arrest. These types of canister work by injecting gas into a metal canister to pressurise the contents, but a french consumer group has warned for years that these types of cannisters are dangerous and a risk to serious injury or death. According to the BBC, one victim of an exploding cream dispenser told RTL radio in 2013: "I had six broken ribs, and my sternum was broken. "At the hospital, I was told that if the shock and blast had been facing the heart, I would be dead now." One manufacturer issued a product recall last year, but potentially tens of thousands remain in people’s homes. Health and fitness firm Women’s Best, who Ms Burger modelled for, posted a tribute online. It said: "We are sad to have to announce the loss of this wonderful soul. Our French athlete Rebecca Burger died yesterday. "Rebecca was a great athlete and a kind and generous person with whom to work.
Ateef Rafiq, who was attending a film at a Vue cinema complex at Star City in Birmingham with his partner, reportedly became wedged in the electronic footrest of his seat when he bent down to retrieve a phone.
Ateef managed to activate the footrests position from up to down which then pressed down onto his head and he became stuck. He was only freed after the footrest was broken by staff and other patrons. Mr Rafiq suffered from cardiac arrest and was taken to the city's Heartlands Hospital where he died a week later. In a statement, Vue International said: "Following an incident which took place on Friday, 9 March at our Birmingham cinema, we can confirm that a customer was taken to hospital that evening. "We are saddened to learn that he passed away on Friday, 16 March. "A full investigation into the nature of the incident is ongoing. Birmingham City Council has begun a health and safety investigation. Pressure sensitive footrests should of been used to avoid accidents like this. The cinema complex at Star City has 25 screens including three Gold Class rooms where the emphasis is on comfort and luxury.
Image Above - Main concourse view showing the currently closed Gold Class first floor area (top left) which could be reached by the lift or stairs (Image: Graham Young / BirminghamLive) The company’s website says: “The Gold Class ticket price includes complimentary popcorn during your film and is strictly for over 18’s, offering luxury seating with a fully licensed bar and an enhanced viewing experience. “Gold Class customers are welcome to visit the Gold Class bar to enjoy a drink before and during the screening.”
Charles Simmons-Jacobs, an officer for the Health and Safety Executive, said the seats were believed to be superior which was why they were in Gold Class. A fuse had blown in the chair control panel resulting in Ateef becoming trapped underneath the footrest which had a staggering pressure of at least 1500 pounds of downwards pressure which resulted in his death. The mechanism on the footrest of the seat where Mr Rafiq had been sitting was a double action and was not safe because of the potential force on the frame. While the mechanism was trying to pull the footrest back it encountered a blockage.
An Ice cream sales man could not of foreseen the outcome when he borrowed his car to his wife so that she could drive his mother home on a Friday, Sadly the pair never arrived and the car was found just blocks away several hours later with both of the occupants still inside. The Ice cream salesman had inadvertently left four coolers full of dry ice in the trunk of his car that had begun to evapourate. Dry ice does not melt like conventional frozen water (Ice) into a liquid because dry Ice is made up of a frozen gas carbon dioxide, As the dry ice melted it leaked poisonous gasses into the confined space of the car resulting in the death of Hildegard Whiting and the near death of the sales mans wife. Dry ice is commonly used for harmless smoke effects at concerts, shows, and parties. But carbon dioxide gas, by itself, is denser than air. That's why the smoke that comes from dry ice sticks to the floor rather than rising up like smoke from a fire. In confined places, such as the interior of a car, carbon dioxide can invisibly displace our natural oxygen-rich atmosphere. With a large amount of dry ice stored in the car's trunk, this appears to be what happened in this case.
Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. A block of dry ice has a surface temperature of -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit (-78.5 degrees C). Dry ice also has the very nice feature of sublimation -- as it breaks down, it turns directly into carbon dioxide gas rather than a liquid.
Travelling by aeroplane does have a risk of injury or even death, No airport in the world is totally safe from accidents and injuries, It is common knowledge that aeroplanes crash and burn on a regular basis and many hundreds of people perish when a plane crashes, Some disappear without a trace some are blown up by terrorists, and some are hit by lightening and foreign projectiles that creates disaster. In the case of Jennifer Riordan she could not of perceived the terrible misfortune and injuries she sustained while travelling on Southwest flight 1380.
Image Above - Southwest flight 1380 made an emergency landing in Philadelphia - Jennifer Riordan, a New Mexico mother and public relations executive known for her loving personality and relentless volunteer work, was identified as the passenger who died on Southwest Flight 1380 after tragedy struck when an engine exploded and blew out a window. Autopsy results showed the woman died of blunt force impact trauma to the head, neck and torso, NBC 10 reported. Hollie Mackey was sitting beside banking executive Jennifer Riordan when one of the engines exploded, causing shrapnel to shatter their window at 32.000ft. 43 year old Riordan was wearing her seatbelt and was from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sudden decompression caused her upper body to be sucked out of the Boeing 737 and this resulted in her death a short time later.
Mrs Macker and a young girl who were sat in the seat between Riordan tried in vain to pull the woman back in but just were not strong enough. Mackey stated "I had leaned over and grabbed on to her belt loops and her waist and wrapped my arm around her waist and tried to pull. The University of Oklahoma professor added that it was a "godsend" when fellow passengers Tim McGinty and Andrew Needum tugged Mrs Riordan's body back inside the cabin. The flight had earlier left New York and was on its way to Dallas when the tragedy forced the plane to land in Philadelphia. Despite their heroic efforts, Mrs Riordan later died from blunt-impact injuries to her head, neck and torso. Examination of the engine revealed that one of the fan blades had sheared off and found signs of "metal fatigue".
The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered inspections of some similar engines, used to power Boeing 737s. Southwest has since sent a letter of apology, along with a $5,000 (£3,570) cheque and a $1,000 (£714) travel voucher to the 143 passengers who were the flight. Passenger Marty Martinez of Dallas, who livestreamed the horror and panic onboard said he has no immediate plans to cash the money. He said: "I didn't feel any sort of sincerity in the email whatsoever, and the $6,000 total that they gave to each passenger I don't think comes even remotely close to the price that many of us will have to pay for a lifetime." A public memorial service for Mrs Riordan is set for Sunday in Albuquerque.
A family has been devastated by the loss of a young mum who died when an innocent game went tragically wrong. Bethan Gaskin was a bright and bubbly girl with the world at her feet. The 24-year-old was enjoying a girls' night in when she set about playing a game from her student days. She was trying to see how many Jaffa Cakes she could cram into her mouth at once but in what doctors described as a billion-to-one chance, Bethan choked on the melted chocolate and jelly as she went to spit them out. Her airways were blocked and she suffered a cardiac arrest.
According to the news, packets of Jaffa Cakes now only have 10 delicious orangey sponges instead of 12!
A friend went to check on Bethan and found her slumped on the floor in the bathroom, One of Bethans friends worked as a paramedic and instantly began to try and save her life, Firefighters arrived a few minutes later to give first aid before the ambulance crew arrived. Bethan was in hospital for five days before doctors realised the extent of the brain damage she had suffered, The family gathered at her bedside to say their goodbyes on February 27. Mum Michele said: “She looked perfect and so beautiful. It was just like she was sleeping.
“So many people have said they play a similar game with marshmallows. Even my 90-year-old aunt said she does it with Maltesers. "This just shows how fragile we are.” Bethan donated her heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas and one of her lungs. The family are still waiting to hear whether the transplants were successful but hope the recipients will get in touch one day. Bethan's devastated parents and brother Joseph, 20, then had the daunting task of breaking the news to Bethan's three-year-old daughter Lili.
A 75-year-old man has been killed by the large flightless bird he kept at his home in Florida. Police found the man badly wounded by the cassowary – which has four-inch, dagger-like claws – when they were called to his property on Friday. The bird had attacked the man after he fell over. The victim, named as Marvin Hajos, was taken to hospital by paramedics, where he later died from his injuries. Cassowaries are known as the “world’s most dangerous bird”, according to San Diego Zoo. Alachua County Sheriff Department said the man was probably injured by the bird’s claws. Police are investigating the incident but say initial information suggests it was a “tragic accident”. The man was reportedly breeding the birds, which are native to Australia and New Guinea, He is said to have kept other exotic animals for decades. Cassowaries are similar to emus and are among the largest bird species in the world, weighing up to 60kg and reaching up to 6ft in height.
San Diego Zoo said cassowaries “can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick”, due to their long claws. The birds are not traditionally raised in the US but are sought after by collectors. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission lists the cassowary as Class II wildlife which can “pose a danger to people” and require a permit for ownership. The large bird that killed Hajos was auctioned off in April of 2019 but the buyer and price have not been released. Since there is no permit required to breed the birds, Hajos was not breaking the law.
Some people suffer from insomnia and a method to fall asleep is to count sheep jumping over a gate or bush, After you reach 100 sheep you should feel tired and nod of into dream land, In 2013 a Brazilian man called Joao Maria de Souza was doing just that while resting in bed at his home in Caratinga, Southeast Brazil, This story is quite unbelievable and it may be true that pigs can fly but on this occasion it was a large cow that had managed to climb up onto the roof of his property. The large beast had also managed to escape from a nearby farm and was investigating it's surroundings.
You might like to know that a fully grown cow weighs a lot, A full grown Holstein cow weighs an average of about 1,500 lbs. That's nearly 1 ton. But her size depends on a variety of factors like age, feeding, genetic potential, and other factors. A cow's weight can vary between 1,000 and 1,800 lbs. Now that is a lot of weight to be pressing down onto De Souza's rickety roof, The house backed onto a steep hill and this explains how the cow got on the roof in the first place, de Souza was fast asleep and completely oblivious to the cow above him, The corrugated roof was unfortunately unable to take the full weight of the cow and gravity took it's course.
Image Above - Holstein Dairy Cow - Suddenly the roof began to creak and bend down as the cow stood motionless enjoying it's sudden freedom and new views, The 1500 lb beast ripped through the roof and landed directly on top of the sleeping man fracturing his left leg but no further injuries were immediately found. His wife and the frightened beast incredibly survived unharmed but were both in a state of shock from the ordeal, Rescuer's quickly arrived and drove the injured de Sousa to the local hospital, de Sousa was wide awake conscious and in good spirits considering a cow had just crashed onto him. Sadly a few hours later de Sousa passed away from internal bleeding while still waiting to be seen by doctors and nurses according to his family.
Mr de Souza's brother-in-law Carlos Correa told Brazil's Hoje em Dia newspaper: "Being crushed by a cow in your bed is the last way you expect to leave this earth. "But in my view it wasn't the cow that killed our Joao, it was the unacceptable time he spent waiting to be examined." His grieving mother, Maria de Souza, told Brazil's SuperCanal TV channel: "I didn't bring my son up to be killed by a falling cow." Police in Caratinga, Minas Gerais state, have launched an inquiry into the bizarre death. The owner of the cow could be charged with involuntary manslaughter.
On January 25, 1998, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, a married American couple, left Port Douglas, Australia by boat with a group. They were off to dive St. Crispin’s reef, a popular dive site in the Great Barrier Reef. But something was about to go terribly wrong. From Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Tom Lonergan was 33 and Eileen was 28. Avid divers, the couple was described as “young, idealistic and in love with each other.” They met at Louisiana State University, which is also where they married. Eileen was already a scuba diver and she got Tom to take up the hobby as well.
On that day in late January, Tom and Eileen were on their way home from Fiji where they had been serving in the Peace Corps for a year. They stopped in Queensland, Australia on the way for the chance to dive the world’s largest coral reef system. Through the diving company Outer Edge, 26 passengers boarded the scuba boat. Geoffrey Nairn, the boat’s skipper, led the way as they set out to their destination 25 miles off the coast of Queensland. After arriving, the passengers put on their diving gear and jumped into the Coral Sea. That is the last clear thing that can be said about Tom and Eileen Lonergan. What one could imagine is, after a scuba diving session of about 40 minutes, the couple break surface.
They see a clear blue sky, clear blue water all the way to the horizon, and nothing else. No boat in front, no boat behind. Just two disoriented divers who realize their crew has left them. Leaving divers behind isn’t necessarily a death sentence. But in this case, the amount of time it took for someone to recognize that Tom and Eileen weren’t on the returning boat was too long. Eerily, the day after the incident, another dive group taken to the area by Outer Edge found dive weights at the bottom. The discovery was simply described by a crew member as a bonus find. Two days passed before anyone realized that the Lonergans were missing. It was only realized when Nairn found a bag aboard containing their personal belongings, wallets, and passports.
Image Above - A Whale shark swims to the surface on the Great Barrier Reef. Alarm bells rang; a massive search was underway, Both air and sea rescue teams spent three days looking for the missing couple. Everyone from the Navy to civilian vessels took part in the search. Rescue members found some of the Lonergan’s diving gear washed up ashore. This included a dive slate, an accessory used for making notes underwater. The slate read: “To anyone who can help us: We have been abandoned on Agin court reef Reef 25 Jan 1998 03pm. Please help us come to rescue us before we die. Help!!!” But Tom and Eileen Lonergan’s bodies were never found.
Like most unsolved disappearances, chilling theories arose in the aftermath. Was it a matter of negligence on the part of the company and captain? Or was there something more sinister lurking beneath the surface of the seemingly do-gooder couple? There was some speculation that they staged it or that perhaps it was a suicide or even a murder-suicide. Tom and Eileen’s diaries had disturbing entries that added fuel to the fire. Tom seemed to be depressed. Eileen’s own writing was concerned with Tom’s apparent death wish, writing two weeks before their fateful trip that he wished to die a “quick and peaceful death” and that “Tom’s not suicidal, but he’s got a death wish that could lead him to what he desires and I could get caught in that.”
Image Above - Tom and Eileen Lonergan's dive slate - Yet another theory is that they were CIA agents that had stumbled on sensitive information and knew too much., and then either did a runner or were assassinated. Their parents disputed this suspicion and said the entries were taken out of context. The general consensus was that the couple was left dehydrated and disoriented, leading to either drowning or being eaten by sharks. In a proceeding court case, Coroner Noel Nunan charged Nairn with unlawful killing. Nunan said that the “skipper should be vigilant for the safety of passengers and ensure safety measures are carried out.” He added, “When you combine the number of mistakes and the severity of the mistakes I am satisfied a reasonable jury would find Mr. Nairn guilty of manslaughter on criminal evidence.”
Nairn was found not guilty. But the company was fined after they pled guilty to negligence, which caused them to go out of business. Tom And Eileen Lonergan’s case also prompted stricter government regulations in regards to safety, including headcount confirmations and new identification measures. In 2003, the film Open Water was released and is based on the tragic events of the couple’s last dive. Another scenario has the Lonergans using the dive boat as part of an elaborate hoax to fake their deaths. Jeanette Brenthall, owner of a bookshop in Port Douglas, believes the couple came into her store on January 27, two days after their dive trip. The pair was also reportedly sighted in a hotel in downtown Darwin.
The sun weathered slate was found in the same vicinity, at Archers Point South of Cooktown, as the dive gear that washed up.
Further mystery was added when it was proven that it could not have floated ashore, as it was demonstrated on TV how the actual slate sank in a bucket of water.
Evidence therefore suggested that the slate had been “planted” to provide proof of the couple having been being left at sea.
The dive slate was even claimed to have been planted there by the American CIA agents.
The diving fraternity was even skeptical the tablet was genuine, suggesting it was part of an elaborate “disappearance” hoax.
Bobby Leach was not the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. That honor belongs to Annie Edson Taylor who in 1901 escaped the treacherous drop from the horseshoe-shaped falls with only a slight gash on her head. Luckily, she survived to deter others from copying her foolish stunt. “If it was with my dying breath,” she said after the jump, “I would caution anyone against attempting the feat.” It was a stern warning. “I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon knowing it was going to blow me to pieces,” she added, “than make another trip over the Falls.” Most heeded her desperate plea. Then came Leach.
Image Above - Annie Edson Taylor after her trip over Niagara Falls leaving her barrel.
Annie Taylor was one of eight children; unfortunately, her father died when she was only 12-years-old. Later in life she met her husband while studying, they had one child but sadly he died in infancy, it wasn’t long after that, that her husband died. Her life was a hard one, but this 63-year old widow would not let it beat her.
She got the bright idea to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, this idea stemmed from wanting to secure her financial future.
Her barrel was made from oak and iron and had a mattress lining the inside. The fall was delayed several times, mostly because people didn’t want to participate in a suicide. Two days before Taylor went over, the people loaded a cat into the barrel and tested it at Horseshoe Falls, the cat survived and later took photographs with Taylor.
If Bobby Leach heard Taylor’s words of caution, he likely took it as a challenge. Ten years later, in 1911, Leach would attempt the same stunt, also dropping off the horseshoe part of the Falls. “The first man to try it,” the newspapers trumpeted, perhaps finding no other angle to the story. But for Leach it was just part of a grand adventure. He was a daredevil and this is what daredevils do.
Besides wax statues, the Niagara Wax Museum has plenty of other exhibits, mostly pertaining to Niagara Falls itself. This is a replica of the metal barrel that Bobby Leach went over the falls in, in 1911. Niagara Wax Museum, Niagara Falls, NY. Leach was already a showman and acrobat, working in the circus and performing death defying feats of strength and endurance to large audiences. His risky balloon ascensions were popular and his parachute jumps – one for a distance of two miles – made people gasp with delight. In 1907, as legend has it, Leach was a spectator at Madison Square Garden in New York when a man tried to jump 125 feet from a platform to a large bucket of water. Leach was envious. When the jumper missed the bucket and died instantly, Leach supposedly rose to his feet and proclaimed, “I can do that.” Whether he attempted that feat is not known, but he did include more dangerous stunts in his own act.
Image Above - Horseshoe falls also known as Canadian Falls, is the largest of the three waterfalls that collectively form Niagra Falls on the Niagara River along the Canada-United States border. Approximately 90% of the Niagara River, after diversions for hydropower generation, flows over Horseshoe Falls. The remaining 10% flows over American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. It is located between Terrapin Point on Goat Island in the US state of New York, and Table Rock in the Canadian province of Ontario. In the early 1980's the United States Army Corps of Engineers filled in more land and built diversion dams and retaining walls to force the water away from Terrapin Point. Altogether, 400 ft (120 m) of the Horseshoe Falls was eliminated. Due to erosion, the falls will continue to move in relation to the boundary line in the future.
In 1908, he announced his intentions to go over the Niagara Falls. “In a rubber ball,” he exclaimed. Leach had planned to jump the Falls in a large rubber ball, hoping to bounce of the jagged rocks at the bottom. He scrapped the idea, however, when others convinced him it likely wouldn’t work. Leach retooled his thoughts. Like Annie Taylor he would use a fortified barrel. But it was a barrel in name only. About nine-feet long and three-feet wide, it looked like a large steel cylinder with a manhole-sized opening and heavy cover. A small one inch hole, plugged by a cork, could be used for air if needed. Otherwise, the craft was water-tight. Inside, pillows were placed on each side and a webbed netting suspended the body, keeping Leach from violently banging the sides.
Image Above - Bobby Leach post-Niagara Falls Photo: Niagara Falls Public Library, Niagara Falls, N.Y. On July 25, 1911, the barrel was towed to the site at the top of the Falls and Leach climbed in. The scene from this point is best described by an eyewitness, a photographer named Walter Arthur, who was attempting to get motion picture footage of the event. “I was stationed on the bank at the bottom of the Falls with my motion picture machine ready,” Arthur recounted. “And I don’t mind saying that I never expected to see Bobby Leach again.”
Suddenly I saw the black shape of the barrel with its sharp wooden nose pointed on the brink. It hung there for a few seconds before it plunged down one hundred and sixty-eight feet to the river below. Leach had built out blunt wooden noses of heavy timbers, bolted fast to the iron ends of the barrel. The idea was that these wooden noses would act as buffers from the rocks and prevent them from smashing holes on the ends. As it turned out, this was a good idea, probably saved his life, for after its big drop the barrel struck nose on and tore away most of the planks on both ends.
Bobby Leach's daughter Pearl Photo: Niagara Falls Public Library, Niagara Falls, N.Y. - Arthur says the barrel stood up on end for several minutes like it was wedged in some rocks then began to move with the current. We were waiting at a point in the powerhouse cove where the control barrels had floated. We thought he would come out here, but he did not come. A minute passed, then two minutes, and we searched the smooth black surface where the “Maid of the Mist” was lying ready to help. Nothing! Three minutes! It seemed like hours, and then a little distance off from the shore we made out the black shape of the barrel sweeping on towards the rapids. Everybody yelled and big strapping fellow from the firehouse leaped into the river and struck out bravely. We saw him swim up to the barrel and throw one arm over it and turned like he was struggling, then two other young fellows rushed in and among them they brought the barrel to the bank.
Leach fainted during the fall, was banged up, but still alive. The rescuers used stimulants to revive him, then laid him out on a stretcher for a closer look. It wasn’t good. At the hospital, the news was dire, but not life threatening. Both kneecaps were shattered and his jaw bone was cracked. He spent twenty-three weeks in the hospital recovering. When he was finally released, Leach found acceptance in Europe where he took his dented barrel and went to exhibits and conventions and reportedly did smaller- but still dangerous – stunts to appreciative audiences overseas. His return to the Falls was just as successful. He delighted locals with attempts to swim under the rollicking waters and made several parachute jumps out of an airplane over the gorge.
Image Above - First individual to perish while attempting to conquer Niagara Falls in a barrel. Charles G Stephens - Stephens, a barber from Bristol, England set out on July 11th, 1920 inside a self-made oak barrel with an anvil affixed to his feet. As he went over the falls, the anvil broke through the barrel ultimately pulling him to his watery grave. His body was never recovered. After his accident All that was ever found was his right arm. Note: Right arm was buried in an unmarked grave at Canada Drummond Cemetery.
George Stathakis was a chef who lived in New York. He came to Niagara Falls in 1930 with the idea of gaining fame so he could earn enough money to publish his books on metaphysical experiences.
Stathakis often rowed in the Niagara River, going closer and closer to the Falls with each trip. He reportedly spoke of the Falls in mystic terms. Having studied the trips of both Charles Stephens and Jean Lussier, George decided to go with a heavier barrel (even though Stephens' heavy barrel had lead to his death). George and his friends built the barrel, ending up with a reported 2,000-pound (907-kg) vehicle of enormous strength. On the day of his ride, Stathakis brought along his pet turtle, Sonny Boy, who was over 100 years old, as a good luck charm (and to tell the story in the event George didn't make it). Unfortunately, the barrel became stuck behind the curtain of water and could not be removed for somewhere around 18 hours. While it is assumed he survived the plunge, he only had enough air for somewhere from three to eight hours, and he ultimately died in his attempt. Sonny Boy survived but never had much to say about it.
Between 1910 and 1942, if you wanted to follow in Annie Edson Taylor’s footsteps, Red Hill Sr was the man to see. Though he never tried besting the falls himself, it was Hill who rescued Leach and tried to warn Stephens about his treacherous barrel. An accomplished stuntman in his own right, Hill most notably ventured through the deadly Niagara whirlpool in 1930, securing his place in the Daredevil Hall of Fame.
Image Left - Barrels just don’t cut it for some adrenaline junkies. Enter Jean Lussier of New Hampshire. Hearing of Stephens’ plight, Lussier decided to forego traditional methods and invested his life savings in a gigantic rubber ball. The summer of 1928 saw thousands of spectators gather to witness its maiden voyage. Lussier’s journey was a triumphant success and he decided to stay in the region, selling off pieces of the historic sphere to eager tourists.
Image Above - George Stathakis
Image Far Right, Jean Lussier after his trip over Niagara Falls - July 4th 1928.
Image Above - Karel Soucek (April 19, 1947 – January 20, 1985) was a Canadian professional stuntman who went over Niagra Falls in 1984, He lived in Hamilton, Ontario. Soucek prepared for his 1984 Niagara Falls stunt by researching previous attempts, by sending unmanned barrels over the falls to test the currents, and by dropping his barrel off the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton to test its shock absorbence. Soucek's custom-made barrel was nine feet long and five feet in diameter. It was bright red and bore the words, "Last of the Niagara Daredevils - 1984" and "It's not whether you fail or triumph, it's that you keep your word... and at least try!"
On July 2nd, 1984, the barrel was rolled into the Niagara River 1000 feet above the cataract of Niagara Falls with Soucek inside. In seconds, the barrel was swept over the brink. Shortly after, Soucek emerged bleeding but safe. Soucek was fined $500 for performing the stunt without a license. He had also spent $15,000 on materials and labor and $30,000 to film the stunt, but quickly earned back all his costs from sales and interviews. Having tasted success, Soucek decided to build a museum at Niagara Falls, Ontario in which to display his stunting paraphernalia. He convinced a corporation to finance a barrel drop of 180 feet from the top of the Houston Astrodome into a tank of water to pay for his project. 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.
World famous Stuntman Evel Knievel had tried to persuade Soucek not to go through with the stunt, calling it "the most dangerous I've ever seen". Soucek is buried at the Drummond Hill Cemetery in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Soucek was quoted as saying, "There is no heaven or hell; there is no God. It's all a myth. You're born, you live, one day you die and that's it."
The NRG Astrodome, also known as the Houston Astrodome or simply the Astrodome, is the world's first multi purpose, domed sports stadium, located in Houston, Texas. Construction on the stadium began in 1962, and it officially opened in 1965. It served as home to the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB) from it's opening in 1965 until 1999, and the home to the Houston Oilers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1968 until 1996, and also the part-time home of the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1971 until 1975, Additionally the Astrodome was the primary venue of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo from 1966 until 2002, When opened the large domed structure was the Harris County Domed Stadium and was also nicknamed the "Eighth Wonder Of The World"
Image Above - Inside the Astrodome - The home run . . . ". (Houston Sports Association) After the original natural grass playing surface died, the Astrodome became the first major sports venue to install artificial grass (turf) which became known as AstroTurf. In another technological first, the Astrodome featured the "Astrolite", which was the first animated scoreboard. The Astrodome was renovated in 1988, expanding seating and altering many original features. By the 1990s, the Astrodome was becoming obsolete. Unable to secure a new stadium, Oilers owner Bud Adams moved the team to Tennessee after the 1996 season, where they eventually became the Tennessee Titans, The Astros played at the dome through the 1999 season, before relocating to Enron Field (later changed to Minute Maid Park) in 2000 while the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo continued to be held at the Astrodome until the opening of the adjacent NRG Stadium in 2002. Although it no longer had any primary tenants, the venue regularly hosted events during the early 2000s, and in 2005, was used as a shelter for residents of New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Astrodome was declared non-compliant with fire code by the Houston Fire Department in 2008 and parts of it were demolished in 2013 after several years of disuse. In 2014 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Image Above John Super day Mundy - Niagara falls has certainly attracted a fair amount of brave souls over the years as they try there luck and tempt there fate as they go crashing over the giant waterfalls just to be in the record books along with the other souls who have tried some successful and some not so. The beautiful waterfalls create a humming tourist trade and what could be better than the dream of surviving the treacherous and mighty fall from the top of the falls. Dave Munday is no daredevil. Though he has parachuted from an airplane more than 1,000 times and has gone over the roaring Canadian Horseshoe Falls in a barrel — twice — the Caistor Centre native doesn’t like to be referred to by that term. “It really wasn’t much of a big deal,” says Munday, now 82 and living in Cape Breton, N.S. of his plunges over the iconic waterfall in 1985 and again in 1993. “I’ve done sky diving and that’s a bigger thrill than going over Niagara Falls.” “It takes a lot of money to do Niagara Falls if you do it right,” says Munday, noting he has spent $24,000 in fines plus legal fees from the five court appearances associated with his daring trips over the falls. “We spent two or three years working before the first attempt — getting the barrel ready, watching and figuring out where to take off from. The first time we made a mistake and the police shut us down.”
Catching on to his scheme, police alerted Ontario Hydro and had the water level reduced, trapping Munday and his barrel in a hydro pool away from the falls brink.
A few months later, Munday and his team made a second attempt, one that would send the then-48-year-old over the raging waterfall and into the rapids below.
“We went closer to the falls that time,” he recalls of his successful attempt to take the falls on Oct. 5, 1985. “And we did it at a different time of day. We went right to the edge of the falls, got the barrel in and I went over.”
Munday said he could count three-and-a-half seconds before hitting the water.
“It knocks you silly,” Munday says of hitting the water after ascending 167 feet while secured inside a steel barrel.
Munday became the ninth person to survive a trip over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls and the first Canadian to accomplish the feat. He was also the first person to videotape the experience, using a small video camera fixed inside a small window a few feet above his head.
Though the thrilling dare gave Munday notoriety, it also came with a cost. Niagara Parks Police handed him a $500 fine for stunting and he was also charged $1,000 for breach of probation from his previous attempt.
And of course, his successful barrel ride came with criticism. Some said the 900-pound steel barrel was “too high tech” with its Styrofoam cushion and breathing apparatus. And so, Munday needed to defend his title,
On July 16, 1990, after two attempts at battling the Great Gorge Rapids in a six-foot-long barrel, one that was botched by police and earned him more fines and one that was successful on Oct. 11, 1987, Munday and his crew drove to the falls ready for a second attempt in a home-made steel barrel. The barrel stopped at the brink, becoming lodged on the rocks. His attempt was foiled and again, Munday received a whack of fines. But that didn’t stop the diesel mechanic from proving he didn’t need a fancy barrel to successfully take the falls.
On Sept. 26, 1993 Munday earned himself another record — he became the first person to brave the falls twice and survive.
“The second time there was nothing in there,” Munday says of his simple, round steel barrel. “It took me three years to get it done after that first attempt because it was so hard to get by the police.”
The Niagara Parks Commission prohibits stunting, carries a maximum fine of $10,000, on all of its properties through the Niagara Parks Act. The Parks Police have done their best to foil wannabe daredevils,
He used two pickle barrels placed end-to-end. The exterior was reinforced with layers of fiberglass, balsa wood for flotation, and covered with truck tire inner tubes for shock absorption. Trotter was strapped into an automotive racing harness, and equipped with flashlights, lifejacket, two way radio, and oxygen tanks. The ends of the barrel were sealed with submarine-style twist caps.
Image Above - He became the youngest person to ever survive the stunt (age 22) and the first American in 25 years to go over the falls in a barrel. He performed the stunt again on June 18, 1995, becoming the second person to survive the stunt twice, He was accompanied by Lori Martin for his second attempt. Steve Trotter also achieved notoriety in November 1985, when he set the world record for the longest Tarzan Swing off "The Golden Gate Bridge" in San Francisco, rotter attached a 176-foot (54 m) cable to the center-span of the bridge, then moved to a point 176 feet (54 m) away, and jumped off the bridge. Trotter, sitting on a small wooden disk attached to the end of the cable, in effect became the weight on a pendulum, travelling at 70 mph. Trotter was jailed and charged with trespassing.Trotter's attempted repeat of the stunt in 1997 at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge ended in disaster. Trotter and four other people jumped, attached to the same cable. The plan had not been tested previously, and the cable snapped during the effort, causing Trotter and the others to plunge at least 70 feet (21 m) into the bay. Trotter and Jeff Sargent escaped major injury, but Lori Martin broke a vertebra in her neck and stopped breathing after the accident, forcing the others to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation to keep her alive in the water. Glenn Rohm also broke a vertebra and had his head held in a metal halo drilled into his skull.
Image Above - Peter Debernardi Left with Angela Peebles.
Educators, take note: There are easier ways to denounce substance abuse than climbing into a 3000-pound steel barrel and dropping down a waterfall. This ill-conceived strategy belonged to Peter DeBernardi and Jeffrey Petkovich, who became the first duo to take the Niagara plunge in 1989. Inscribed on the side of their bright yellow cylinder was the helpful slogan “Don’t Put Yourself on the Edge—Drugs Will Kill You!”
Jeffery Petkovich, left, and Peter DeBernardi celebrate after their Niagara Falls plunge in this file photo from September 1989. They became the first ever to survive a dual plunge. - File photo/The Hamilton Spectator
David Seth Kotkin (born September 16, 1956), known professionally as David Copperfield, is an American magician, described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history. Copperfield's television specials have won 21 Emmy Awards of a total 38 nominations. Best known for his combination of storytelling and illusion, Copperfield's career of over 40 years has earned him 11 Guinness World Records, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a knighthood by the French government, and he has been named a Living Legend by the US Library of Congress. Copperfield has so far sold 33 million tickets and grossed over $4 billion, more than any other solo entertainer in history. In 2015, Forbes listed his earnings at $63 million for the previous 12 months and ranked him the 20th highest-earning celebrity in the world. In a 1990 TV special, Copperfield has his arms and legs chained and his body restrained in a yellow raft. ... His raft does fall over, but a minute later, we see him alive and well, dangling from a helicopter's rope. Reflecting on the stunt, Copperfield told the Las Vegas Sun that he feared for his life while preparing.16 Sep 2016 - Guests to Copperfields islands have included Oprah Winfrey and Scientologist John Travolta, Google co founder Sergey Brin was married there, Copperfield has claimed that the islands may contain the "Fountain of Youth, a claim that resulted in him receiving a Dubious Achievement Award from Esquire Magazine in 2006. If there was such a thing the magically charged water contained within has the power to restore youth and vitality amongst other things.
A paradise on Earth that only David Copperfield could provide for the rich and famous.
David Copperfield is overwhelmed to show Famous talk show host Oprah Winfrey around his magical and enchanted island called Musha Cay.
Bobby Leach continued: On July 25, 1911, from the New York side of the river (Canadian police had banned him from performing the stunt) he went over the largest of three waterfalls on the Niagara River - the 51 metre high Horseshoe Falls. Though the obituary in the San Francisco Bulletin said Leach didn’t suffer a scratch, he actually broke both his kneecaps, several ribs and his jaw, and spent five months in hospital. After his recovery, he toured, with his barrel, throughout the US and Europe. According to the Herald, there “can be little doubt” that the Niagara-incurred injuries led to the weakening of his leg that was broken on that fateful day in Auckland on February 26, 1926. But according to his death certificate, the cause of his death two months later was osteitis fibrosa (weakened bones) and sarcoma of femur (bone cancer).
In 1926, Leach returned to Europe where he visited New Zealand and Austria. He never made it back. While strolling the New Zealand countryside by foot, Leach slipped on an orange peel and heard a loud pop. He broke his leg so severely it had to be amputated. Gangrene set in and killed him. “Not a banana peel,” one writer aptly jested about Leach’s unfortunate and unlucky demise, “the greatest fall artist of all time died from a fall off an – orange peel.” Leach’s place in history is perhaps more dubious considering he was the first person to jump the Falls after Taylor’s inaugural attempt. The “Heroine of Niagara Falls” tried to stop others from trying the feat, but that didn’t deter Leach. His decision to jump may have inadvertently spurred on others to publically make successful and tragically unsuccessful attempts that continues to this day. Leach also benefited off his popularity, but Taylor did not. She expected to get rich for her efforts, but died a pauper. Even by today’s standards, these daredevil barrel jumpers would certainly be lauded for their efforts. But perhaps one aspect of their stunt would have received more attention and likewise, skeptical debate: their ages. Leach was in his 50’s when he jumped off the Falls. Taylor was 63.
Hillsborough Cemetery Photo: Luke McPake / The Wireless.
Bobby Leach's grave at Hillsborough Cemetery Photo: Luke McPake / The Wireless. Leach had been on a speaking tour of New Zealand for four months, accompanied by his beloved wife Sadie and his 17-year-old daughter Pearl. In February, they were staying in a flat on Auckland's Princes St, when the orange peel incident occurred. After “complications set in,” Leach’s leg was amputated, and he did not recover, dying on April 28, 1926, at Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Mt Eden. Two days later, on a Friday afternoon, his body was taken from Messrs C. Little and Sons Funeral home at 209 Hobson St, to Hillsborough Cemetery, where he remains today.
NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario (AP) _ A 39-year-old stunt man who tried to ride over Niagara Falls on a Jet Ski and parachute to safety plunged to his death on Sunday after the parachute failed to open, police said.
Robert Overacker of Camarillo, Calif., went over the brink of the Niagara River’s Canadian Horseshoe Falls at about 12:35 p.m., as several other people filmed the stunt.
Overacker, a graduate of a California stunt school, had a device strapped to his back that included a rocket for lifting him off the Jet Ski and a parachute that had to be opened manually. The contraption failed to work.
He fell 180 feet to the water below, according to Niagara Falls Park Police dispatcher Tom Detenbeck. ``It’s like hitting cement.″
Overacker wasn’t breathing when he was lifted from the water, and was pronounced dead on arrival at Niagara General Hospital.
``I hate to see these stunters try things,″ said Lawrence McGinn, the assistant general manager for Maid of the Mist, which sent a boat out to recover the body. ``I think the falls is going to win most of the time.″ The Jet Ski was still at the base of the falls Sunday afternoon near the spot where a fiberglass barrel ended up in June when two people went over the falls. Steve Trotter of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Lori Martin of Columbus, Ga., survived and faced up to $10,000 in fines. Fourteen people have survived plunges over Niagara, and Overacker is the fifth person to die since 1901, according to the Niagara Falls Parks Commission.
On October 1, 1995, in front of a crowd of nearly 3,000 tourists, Robert Overacker – a thrill-seeking stuntman with a passion for social justice – launched over the side of Niagara Falls on his jet ski. His purpose? To raise awareness about the plight of the homeless. However, this altruistic feat hardly went as planned. When Robert Overcracker jumped Niagra Falls he didn't live to tell the tale.
Within moments of clearing the edge of the falls, Overacker's parachute failed to deploy properly, sending him plummeting down into the mist – and the entire ordeal was caught on film by his brother. Immediately afterward, crowds searched the surface of the water for any trace of the California daredevil, and some tourists even reported seeing him waving his arms at the bottom of the falls as if he were trying to swim. Sadly, once paramedics recovered his body, he was confirmed dead – however, his cause of death wasn't what everyone had expected.
The secret of Jessie Sharp’s obsessive dream now lies with him, somewhere under the rolling waters at the foot of Niagara Falls. Brandishing his paddle aloft, the 28-year-old Nashville native went over the crest of the 176-foot Horseshoe Falls in a closed-deck canoe on June 5th 1990. He was wearing neither a helmet nor a life jacket. His paddle popped to the surface in 10 minutes. His dented canoe, named Rapid-man, was spotted several hundred yards downstream an hour later. A week after the plunge, Sharp’s body had yet to be found.
The canoeist’s ride over the falls on the Canadian side of the river took place in front of horrified honeymooners, police officers and three friends of Sharp’s from the tight-knit white-water paddler community near the Tennessee-Georgia border. The three are back home—and they are definitely not talking to the press. Sharp had planned the incredibly dangerous stunt for 10 solid years and was convinced he would survive the 172 foot drop. Sharp was so convinced he would survive he had made dinner reservations for that night to celebrate his victory but sadly none of this happened. Niagara Parks police Staff Sgt. Fred Hollidge said, 'It took us completely by surprise,' If I could of stopped him I would made every effort to divert him away from the falls, Investigators determined that he planned to paddle downriver after leaping the falls, and kayak through a treacherous 4-mile stretch of rapids, Quinn said. Sharp then intended to negotiate a whirlpool before beaching at a boat ramp in Lewiston, N.Y., where he had left his car and wallet. Quinn said three friends photographed the stunt. They told authorities the plan to go over the falls had been more than a decade in the making. Former United Press International photographer Eric Demme recalled talking Sharp out of paddling the falls in June 1979.
'(Sharp) said if he got it going fast enough in the water as he reached the brink of the falls, the kayak would jet out, and if he could lean back and let the nose go first, it would right itself back out,' the photographer said. Sharp 'lived to kayak,' and made his home near the banks of the Ocoee River. Friends said Sharp had been training for the stunt since his discharge from the Army two years ago with 'intensive physical workouts' and daily runs down the Ocoee and other area rivers. In whitewater (canoeing), there are always people saying that something can't be done. But until someone's tried it, you can't say for sure it can't be done,' said a friend who requested anonymity. 'We're doing rapids routinely now that people 10 years ago said were impossible. He wanted to be the first. 'He didn't have a death wish and apparently he thought he could make it,' said J.T. Lemmons, a whitewater rafting outfitter on the Ocoee River.
On a more truly positive note (assuming you aren't Jesse Sharp's ghost), the waterfall record has since been smashed by Tyler Bradt, who went over the 186ft Palouse Falls and actually landed safely in his boat. For those keeping score, that's 19ft higher, which is about the height of three grown men, or at least five and a half dwarves.
On A July 9th day 1960, 59 years ago Roger Woodward and his sister Deanne were offered a boat ride by a family friend called Rick Honeycutt. It was Deanne's 17th birthday and Honeycutt wanted to take the pair on a tour of the rapids via the upper Niagara river. Roger wore a lifejacket as his mum insisted because he could not swim and was only seven years old. On the afternoon of July 9, 1960, the 12-foot aluminum boat set out down the river, approaching the Grand Island Bridge on the U.S. side. To local boaters, the bridge served as the unofficial cut-off point before you risked the falls' wrath. Honeycutt briefly let Roger steer, and as the currents grew stronger the propellor hit a rock. The engine made an ugly sound and Honeycutt turned it off. But the boat had no anchor or rescue line, and it was now heading into the rapids.
Image Above - Tyler Bradt - How do you stay in shape for paddling? Enjoying outside on the regular, and jailhouse workouts on the boat.
What rapid / drop you’ve ran that you wouldn’t run again? Palouse.
What other forms of shred get you psyched? Surfing, BASE, Skydiving, Paragliding, Sailing, Spearfishing, Snowboarding.
One life goal outside of kayaking? Diversify my life experiences as much as possible, spread good vibes, and enjoy every moment as much as I can.
Last booty beer? On what river? A couple years back on the Nile. Ran a back channel called Widow Maker by myself as the sun was setting and enjoyed a good beat down and memorable swim. Where would you like to travel? Nepal.
Sponsors KAVU, NRS, Dagger, AT, Goal Zero, Smith Optics, Voke.
Roger Woodward with Nurse Eleanor Weaver after his trip over the Horseshoe Falls
Roger Woodward with his sister Deanne.
Woodward recalls Honeycutt telling Deanne to put a lifejacket on. Then the real nightmare began. Waves slammed the boat and filled it with water. Everyone was forced into the rapids and lost track of each other. Woodward recalls seeing people running along the shoreline on Goat Island, trying to reach his sister. It was like no one noticed him. He recalls a moment of peace as he knew he was about to die. He thought of his parents. His dog. His toys. Then it was like he was floating in a cloud. He was enveloped in mist as he made the 167-foot drop into the lower river. As he hit the water everything went dark before his lifejacket brought him to the surface again. He had somehow survived something which had claimed countless lives.
A nearby Maid of The Mist II boat, piloted by Capt. Clifford Keech raced to the scene, battling the choppy water to reel him in without running him over. On the third attempt, he latched onto an orange ring which pulled him aboard. He didn't realize what had happened until he lay in a hospital bed hours later. Longtime Review photographer Ron Roels took a bedside shot of Woodward with Greater Niagara General Hospital nurse Eleanor Weaver. It's one of the most famous photos in the paper's history. More than five decades later, only two other people have survived an unaided plunge over the Horseshoe Falls – Kirk Jones in 2003, and a still unidentified man in 2009. But Woodward isn't philosophical about that day, despite the astronomical odds against him. Deanne was spotted from the shore by a man named John Hayes who began calling out to her shouting, “Come to me girl,” Woodward said. What ensued was Deanne’s own struggle of life and death. As she neared the shore, swimming perpendicular to the current, she couldn’t reach Hayes’ outstretched hand. The man ran downstream and extended his hand again and this time, Deanne managed to grab hold of his thumb. A second man, John Quattrochi, joined in the rescue effort and the pair managed to bring Deanne to safety. As she was being attended to, Deanne asked about Roger. “He leaned over her and said into her ear, ‘Pray for him,’ “ Woodward said. James Honeycutt sadly perished in the rapids as he tried to save the young boy.
50 years later - Roger Woodward with his sister Deanne - “One minute you’re being dragged under water, you can’t breathe, you can’t get to air, you can’t get up,” says Woodward, remembering the moment. “You’re upside-down, you’re thrown around, then you come flying out of the water like somebody just spit you out. Then you just fall back into the water and it starts all over again.” “I realized I was going to die,” says Woodward. “I thought about my dog, I thought about what few toys I had, I thought about my mom and dad and how sad they were going to be when they found out that I died. And there was just total peace.”
Image Left - Kirk Jones at Niagara Falls in 2004.
Chip Somodevilla, AP - Kirk Jones, who famously survived going over Niagara Falls in 2003, died in another attempt over the famous waterfall weeks ago. Jones' body was found earlier this week in Lake Ontario by a fisherman. New York State Park Police Detective Sgt. Brian Nisbet said it appears Jones was in the Niagara Falls area April 19th 2017. On that day, crews responded to a report of a large "spinning ball" in the rapids. Nisbet told Syracuse.com that the 10-foot ball went over the falls and was recovered, without a person in it, by a Maid of the Mist boat. After an investigation, Nisbet said it's believed Jones was attempting to go over the falls inside the ball. However, he fell out at some point, which resulted in his death. The incident is still under investigation. When Jones went over the 173-foot waterfall in 2003, he became the first to take the mighty plunge wearing only his clothes.
Kirk Jones talks to reporters after being released from custody in St. Catherines, Ontario, on Oct. 23, 2003, after surviving a plunge over Niagara Falls. | AP
The inflatable ball recovered below Niagara Falls earlier this year which investigators believe is related to the death of daredevil Kirk R. Jones. (Courtesy of State Parks Police)
NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK – A daredevil who died after plunging over Niagara Falls in an apparent stunt with an inflatable ball might have brought a boa constrictor along for the ride. After Kirk Jones’ death, New York State Park Police found a website with a photo of him and the 7-foot (210-cm) snake named Misty previewing his plans and selling T-shirts and photos, the Niagara Gazette reported Wednesday. “Believe in the Impossible Kirk Jones + Misty Conquer Niagara Falls NY 2017,” read the site, which has since been taken down. Jones’ body was recovered from the water below the falls on June 2. Investigators believe he died April 19, the same day tourists spotted an 8-foot (240-cm) plastic ball, its zippered hatch clearly open, spinning in the Niagara River rapids before it went over the brink.
The ball was recovered below the falls by staff on a Maid of the Mist boat on April 19. Police patched holes in the ball with red masking tape in order to reinflate the ball, said Det. Sgt. Brian Nisbet.
Investigators said they don't have a complete picture of Jones' intentions or what actually took place.
The snake hasn’t been found, though an empty snake cage was found in Jones’ parked van. Exotic-pet experts told police it wouldn’t have survived the cold water. Footage from a crashed drone belonging to Jones, found by a parks employee April 20, shows only rushing water. Police began looking for Jones after the discovery of the ball and drone and after a call from Jones’ wife telling them she feared her husband had gone over the falls. That led to the discovery of the website:
Nik Wallenda has successfully crossed Niagara Falls on a highwire strung high above the raging waters, a historic achievement for the American aerialist.
Wallenda, who hails from a long line of high-wire artists — several of whom have died during performances — started from the U.S. side at around 10:15 p.m. ET and completed it about 25 minutes after he started. June 15, 2012,
Image Above - A Boa Constrictor similar to the one Jones intended to take with him as he plunged over the falls, Sadly the snake would not have survived the freezing cold temperatures and intense water action. We were looking for him and a 7-foot boa constrictor,” Park Police Detective Sgt. Brian Nisbet said. Police don’t know whether Jones fell or climbed out of the ball before reaching the brink. Jones, 53, became the first person known to survive the plunge over Niagara Falls without a safety device in October 2003, when he climbed over a rail and into the water in an apparent suicide attempt. The feat brought fleeting fame for the then-unemployed salesman from Canton, Michigan, and a brief stint in the circus, but he had been out of the public eye in recent years. Police listed his most recent address as Spring Hill, Florida. Although such stunts are illegal, several daredevils have survived trips over Niagara Falls in various contraptions, beginning with Annie Edison Taylor, who rode over in an oak barrel in 1901. At least two other men have survived unprotected plunges since Jones did it. On his first attempt, a witness said Jones went over the edge with his hands over his head before plunging into the water below. The same witness said he then saw Jones pull himself onto rocks down below. He then floated across the U.S.-Canadian border on his back. Before his initial jump, Jones spoke repeatedly about making a jump from the top, friends and family said. Syracuse.com said Jones paid a $3,000 fine after pleading guilty to unlawfully performing a stunt for his first attempt. At the time, Jones said he was trying to kill himself, Syracuse.com reported. However, he later said he was