Man Survives Plunge Over Niagara Falls

May 21, 2012 Updated May 22, 2012 at 8:03 AM EDT

By John Borsa

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May 21, 2012 Updated May 22, 2012 at 8:03 AM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, ONT (WKBW) - A man who deliberately went over Niagara Falls, in an apparent suicide attempt, has survived the fall, according to Niagara Parks Police.

Witnesses spotted the man climb a retaining wall and jump into the upper Niagara River at 10:20 a.m. on the Canadian side of the Falls, according to police.

The man fell nearly 180 feet over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls and survived.

Police called the fall a failed suicide attempt.

It took two hours for Niagara Falls, Ontario firefighters to pull the man from the lower gorge, who was clinging to rocks after the fall.

He is recovering at a Hamilton hospital. His name has not been released.

Police said the victim has serious life-threatening injuries.

He is the fourth person to go over the Falls without a barrel or other protective device and survive.

7-year-old Jeff Woodward was the first in 1960. He fell into the Niagara River after his boat capsized. A man he was with went over the Falls and died. His sister was pulled from the river just a few feet from the brink.

In 2003, Kirk Jones of Michigan made the plunge and lived to tell about it.

An unidentified man, who was also attempting suicide in 2009, survived.