Tag: safety device

    Landmarks attract those committing suicide

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    From the Great Falls Tribune (in Great Falls. Minnesota):

    Two suicide attempts at Niagara Falls last week have renewed an age-old worry about some of the nation’s most famous landmarks: such highly visible places are magnets for troubled people looking to end their lives.

    Cities and states around the nation have tried to come up with ways to deter suicide attempts — officials at the Golden Gate Bridge installed crisis phones and hope to put in safety nets. The Empire State Building has already installed a net.

    For depressed people who want their final act to be monumental, such landmarks are sought out because of their high visibility and notoriety, experts say.

    The two separate suicide attempts at Niagara Falls left one man dead and another hospitalized after being pulled from the river.

    The man who survived is in stable condition after plunging at least 180 feet Monday over the Canadian side of the falls.

    He climbed a railing 20 to 30 feet out over the tallest of the three main falls and jumped into the river, according to witness accounts given to police.

    He was pulled from the water by rescue workers and is only the third person known to have lived after going over the falls without a safety device.

    How did these people survive a plunge over Niagara Falls?

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    From the Toronto Star:

    Death, taxes, Niagara Falls.

    In the old days, those were the only certain things in life — or death — according to the river men who patrolled a thunderous Horseshoe Falls before it became somewhat tamed by hydro companies.

    During the 19th and 20th centuries, thousands of suicide and accident victims plunged over the 52-metre world-famous cataract and none were known to have survived. Even three of the first six daredevils in protective barrels perished.

    Now meet a kinder, gentler Niagara Falls. In the past nine years, three men have miraculously survived the terrible fall — the only three in modern history known to live without a safety device.

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