Niagara Parks Police, Firefighters Remove Man From Rapids Near Brink of Horseshoe Falls

Personal Watercraft Operators in Restricted Waters Faces Federal Charge

A News Release from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Police

Posted September 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – On September 11th, 2019 at approximately 7:00 p.m. emergency services responded to the upper Niagara River following a 9-1-1 call that an individual had fallen off his personal watercraft in restricted waters at the International Control Dam.

A second personal watercraft operator was observed in these restricted waters but steered back towards shore.

Niagara Parks Police Service members positioned themselves along three shoreline locations between the Toronto Power Generating station and the brink of the Horseshoe Falls with rescue throwlines.

The male was located and observed to be wearing a personal flotation device and floating near the north end of the decommissioned power station.

One of the big signs above the Falls, warning boaters not to go any further, Photo courtesy of Niagara Parks

A safety line was thrown to the male who was extricated from the river with the assistance of the Niagara Falls Fire Department. The combination of the police throwline and a fire department ladder was used to remove the male from the River.

The personal watercraft operator was transported to hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and exposure. The personal watercraft later went over the crest of the Horseshoe Falls and was recovered the following day in the lower Niagara River basin.

As a result of the investigation both watercraft operators, and residents of the Niagara Region, were charged under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. 

Vessels are prohibited from Niagara River waters between the mouth of the Welland River and the crest of the Horseshoe Falls. This area is dangerous to the public and clearly marked by signage and restricted marker buoys.

(An Afterword from Niagara At Large – In a brief note accompanying this news release Niagara Parks Police Chief Paul Forcier said that because this this matter is now before the courts, no further information will be released.)

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