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Responders rescue man from rapids on brink of Niagara Falls

The man called 911 saying he was suicidal around midnight; rescuers talked to him for six hours before he threw himself into the rapids and responders saved him in time

By Matt Gryta
The Buffalo News

NIAGARA FALLS – A 33-year-old Long Island man who was rescued after he jumped into the rapids in the Niagara River about 40 yards above the brink of the cataracts, was undergoing examination Wednesday night in the psychiatric ward of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, according to State Parks Police.

The man, whose name cannot be made public under New York State mental health laws, spent about six hours on a rock above the rapids near the brink after making a 911 call early Tuesday, just after midnight, saying he planned to kill himself.

After the 911 call, the man climbed over a railing and remained on a rock as rescuers kept trying to talk him into rethinking his intentions. Another potential suicide victim had been talked out of jumping into the swift current about two weeks ago.

At about 7 a.m. Tuesday, the Long island man, still sitting on a rock above the rapids leading to the brink of the falls, jumped backwards into the rapids.

Two Niagara Falls firefighters wearing harnesses with ropes and State Parks Police officials running along the shore made a stab at saving the man. As he got to about 20 yards from the brink, he turned toward the shore and the firefighters and State Parks Police Lt. Patrick Moriarty grabbed him and pulled him to safety.

They said he did not speak as he was put into an ambulance for the trip to the hospital.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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