Niagara Falls' Sad Stigma: Magnet for Jumpers

Figure 20 to 30 a year
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2012 7:12 PM CDT
Niagara Falls' Sad Stigma: Magnet for Jumpers
In this May 21 photo, Niagara Falls emergency officials rescue a man who plunged over the falls and survived.   (AP Photo/Harry Rossetani)

Rescuers in Niagara Falls still haven't found the body of the man who jumped Tuesday in an apparent suicide attempt. Meanwhile, the man who jumped the previous day and miraculously survived is still recuperating, reports AP. Two jumpers in two days: Just how common is this? Parks officials don't like to publicize cases, but relatives of suicide victims say authorities have told them that 20 to 30 attempts are made per year, reports the Buffalo News. (That's for both the American and Canadian sides.) And the mayor of Canada's Niagara Falls says it happens a few times each month.

All of which is raising scrutiny of daredevil Nik Wallenda, who plans to walk over the falls on a tightrope next month. He made his final practice walk yesterday, notes the Niagara Gazette, and pronounced himself "very confident." He also dismissed the idea that he might encourage jumpers. "I'm encouraging people to live life to the fullest," he tells the News. "Me making it across the wire and living shows people that they can achieve anything." But the sister of a suicide victim calls his stunt "a bit of a slap in the face for me and all our family." (Read more Niagara Falls stories.)

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