Category: Niagara Falls Daredevils

Daredevilry, Rescue And The Family That Couldn’t Escape The Niagara Falls

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The NPR show (from WBUR in Boston), Only a Game, had a repeat of this segment this past Saturday. I didn’t hear it the first time, but heard it on Saturday. It is a neat history of Red Hill and his family.

William “Red” Hill Sr. was born on Oct. 27, 1887 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. His career saving lives began when he carried his 4-year-old sister, Cora, out of their family’s burning home. For his bravery, he was awarded a medal from the Royal Canadian Humane Society. He was just 9 years old. But it was in the perilous waters of the Niagara River, not fire, where he saved the most lives.

Why Canton man tried to cheat death twice at Niagara

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From the Detroit News:

When Kirk Jones waded into the rapids, the biggest danger wasn’t the 7-foot-long snake in his hands. It was the 170-foot waterfalls several hundred yards downriver.

He knew the peril all too well. He had jumped over the falls in 2003, the first person to survive such a drop without a safety device.

Here he was, 14 years later, back at the brink, once again floating through a swirling mist toward the growing roar of the cascade.

Once again his friends would ask why. What makes a man leap off a precipice, rolling the dice with his life, not once but twice?

“Who jumps off Niagara Falls?” asked Russ Chiado, a longtime friend from Canton. “It’s amazing what we do in this world.”

Niagara Falls couple may have captured Daredevil Kirk Jones final moments on camera

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From WIVB Channel 4 in Buffalo (includes video):

There’s new information about the death of Niagara Falls Daredevil Kirk Jones. A couple living in Niagara Falls may have witnessed his final moments.

Peggie and Ron Bastian were simply having coffee at home over looking the river, when they saw not one, but two men put an 8-foot inflatable ball into the rapids.

They say, the men and the ball disappeared out of view for just a few moments behind a tree. They then saw just the ball floating downstream. That’s when Peggie captured a picture of the ball and posted it on Facebook.

Mystery surrounds death of Kirk Jones

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From the Niagara Gazette:

The curious case of the death of Kirk Jones is not closed.

Despite the recovery and identification of Jones’ body, New York State Park Police are still trying to piece together the details of what happened to Jones on the morning of April 19.

At the moment, they have just as many questions as they have answers.

Why did Jones, who survived a suicide attempt over the Horseshoe Falls in 2003 make another attempt to survive the perilous 167-foot plunge?

Why wasn’t Jones inside the 8-foot plastic ball, that was going to be his vessel, when it was spotted in the Niagara River rapids and then, finally, went over the falls?

And where is the 7-foot long boa constrictor, named Misty, that he apparently had planned to have join him on his ride?

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Would you go over the Falls in this barrel?!

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The other day when out for a walk I went past Henri’s Motel. Out front they have a white barrel that is painted with the words:

The original
Hill’s Barrel
July 1949

I supposed they are referring to Major Lloyd Hill who went over the Falls in a barrel on July 30, 1949. NiagaraFallsInfo.com has the following information:

On July 30th 1949, Major Lloyd Hill, using a 650 pound barrel, successfully navigated the Whirlpool Rapids. Hill became stranded in the Whirlpool and had to be rescued by the City of Niagara Falls Fire Department.

I don’t know what all he had inside the barrel, but without any padding it sure looks like you’d be tossed around quite a bit!

Man dies in Niagara Falls after surviving 2003 plunge

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Speaking of daredevils and the risks they take…

From Niagara This Week:

A man who survived a plunge over Niagara Falls without protection in 2003 has died after he went over again, this time inside an inflatable ball.

Police tell the Syracuse Post-Standard the body of 53-year-old Kirk R. Jones was found in the Niagara River by the U.S. Coast Guard on June 2.

Detective Sgt. Brian Nisbet of the New York State Park Police says it’s the same man who became the first person to survive an unprotected plunge over the falls in October 2003.

Nisbet says investigators believe Jones attempted to go over the falls inside a three-meter ball on April 19.

‘If a guy can do it, a girl can do it too’: Daredevil hangs by teeth from chopper over Niagara Falls

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From Canada.com (including video):

A trapeze artist from a renowned family of daredevils hung by her teeth from a helicopter over Niagara Falls today.

The stunt by aerialist Erendira Vasquez Wallenda comes on the fifth anniversary of her husband’s tight-rope walk over the falls.

According to organizers, the chopper hovered about 100 metres above the Horseshoe Falls. Wallenda dangled by her teeth for over 20 seconds, breaking her own husband’s world record.

“It felt amazing. It was a little more windy than I expected it to be, but I just had to put myself back to my backyard and my training,” she said.

When asked what she had to say to young women and girls, her message was one of persistence.

“Never give up on your dreams,” said the mother of three, who noted that she had to put her career as an aerialist on hold to raise her kids. “If a guy can do it, a girl can do it too. We just do it with a little more grace.”

Hotels nearly booked as Niagara Falls prepares for Wallenda stunt

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From WIVB Channel 4 in Buffalo:

It’s expected to be one of the biggest events happening at Niagara Falls this year – Erendira Wallenda will be flying, suspended from a helicopter by her teeth, over the falls.

“For whatever reason, every time there’s this sense of wonder,” said Andrea Czopp, the Communications Director for Destination Niagara USA. “People do all kinds of crazy things for crazy reasons and I think there’s something about the power of this water that ignites an intrigue.”

The stunt is taking place at 8:30am Thursday, June 15.

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Erendira Wallenda to dangle by her teeth over Niagara Falls

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From Global News (includes video):

The trapeze-artist wife of daredevil Nik Wallenda is planning her own stunt high above Niagara Falls.

Five years after Nik Wallenda walked over the falls on a high wire, aerialist Erendira Vasquez Wallenda plans to dangle by her teeth from a helicopter as it flies over Niagara Falls.

The one comment that was left on that page at the time I posted this had a one word comment… “Why?” 🙂

Meet the Woman Planning to Hang by Her Teeth over Niagara Falls

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From Vice:

Niagara Falls played host to famed circus performer Nik Wallenda who walked across the natural phenomenon on a high-wire passing between the US into Canada just short of five years ago. Now, on the anniversary of his performance, his wife Erendira Vasquez Wallenda will attempt a world recording-breaking feat as she hangs from a helicopter above the falls on June 15—by her teeth.

“I come from eight generations of the circus on my mom’s side, and seven generations on my father’s side, so this has been something that’s been in my life for a long time,” Erendira, who is an aerialist, told VICE. “I started performing when I was five years old—I’ve been around people doing this sort of thing my entire life.”

We reached out to Erendira to ask her why in the world someone would want to hang by their teeth over the Falls and about what it’s like to come from a long hereditary line of circus performers.

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