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Fiftieth anniversary of Niagara Falls miracle

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Double J, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the day a seven-year-old boy was swept over Niagara Falls wearing only a bathing suit and a life jacket. He survived, suffering from only shock.

    He had been in a boat that had capsized upstream, throwing him, his 17-year-old sister and a family friend into the Niagara River. The sister was pulled from the water at the brink of the falls. The friend also went over the falls, but didn't survive.

    “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.”

    Woodward then entered what he calls a cloud — what actually was a 167-foot drop down Horseshoe Falls. Engulfed in mist and unable to see, he had no sense of falling.

    And then there was silence.


    This picture was taken by someone on the Maid of the Mist II as the boy was being pulled to safety, moments after going over the cataract.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  2. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    Anyone who has ever been to NF knows what a miracle this was. It's even more miraculous to anyone, such as myself, who saw the size of the boulders at the base of the falls when they were "turned off" about 40 years ago to explore ways to end the erosion. Those rocks were as big as houses, or so it seemed.

    I've been to NF in the summer, winter, during the day and at night and I always hated standing close to the water. It's very mesmerizing.
  3. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Just to clarify, the kid went over the Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side. The boulders are at the bottom of the American Falls. He'd absolutely have been toast if he'd gone over there.
  4. misterbc

    misterbc Member

    I remember him being a guest on "Front Page Challenge" in about '66 or so.
  5. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    "Front Page Challenge" - classic Canadian TV. :)
  6. melock

    melock Well-Known Member

    Great story telling there by the writer.
  7. When folks (intentionally) go over the falls, isn't it typically Horeshoe Falls? I don't know if anyone has tried American Falls and survived.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Seeing the title of the thread, I thought it was about the night Calvin Murphy didn't hook up.
  9. CR19

    CR19 Member

    I remember looking at the river leading to Horseshoe Falls when I was on vacation. The prospect of being forced toward the falls by currents is absolutely horrifying. It was an absolute miracle that this kid made it.
  10. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    It's always Horseshoe Falls. I've never heard of anyone going over the American Falls.
  11. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    My bad. Since we always went over to the Canadian side, I guess I forgot it was the American falls that were turned off.

    There have been proposals out there to cut down or eliminate the intake of water for hydroelectric generation one or two days a year to really open up the falls and have then revert to their original power. That would be awesome to see, and would be an unbelievable tourist attraction.
  12. doubledown68

    doubledown68 Active Member

    I've been to the Falls twice, and I can see how a fall on the Canadian side could... could be survived. I've always wondered what rocks, if any, there are there, and how deep they are.

    The falls do a good job of breaking the surface tension of the water below, and a kid that size isn't going to sink far... especially with an adult life jacket on. Still, nothing short of a miracle that he survived without a scratch.
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