Kirk Jones, man who miraculously survived unprotected Niagara Falls plunge, found dead in Niagara River 14 years later: Report
In this Aug. 13, 2004, file photo, Kirk Jones poses for a photo at Terrapin Point on the American side of Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls State Park, N.Y. Jones, who survived a plunge over Niagara Falls without protection in 2003 has died after he went over again, this time inside an inflatable ball. Police told the Syracuse Post-Standard that the body of the 53-year-old was found in the Niagara River by the U.S. Coast Guard on June 2, 2017.
American Kirk Jones couldn't cheat death again after becoming the first person to take an unprotected plunge over Niagara Falls more than a decade ago.
The U.S. Coast Guard discovered Jones’ body in the Niagara River earlier this month, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.
It’s believed the 53-year-old, who was in the Niagara region on April 19, might have died while attempting the feat in a large inflatable ball.
His body was pulled from the water near Lake Ontario on June 2, roughly 20 kilometres from the Falls, according to the report.
Jones, then 40 years old, was banned from Canada back in 2003 after surviving Niagara Falls’ chilly 173-foot drop.
While his family labeled him as death-defying daredevil, Jones reportedly admitted he was attempting to kill himself in the aftermath.
"I'm feeling very happy to be alive," Jones told reporters 14 years ago, according to the Post-Standard. "I ask that no one ever try such a terrible stunt again."
But it seems he didn’t follow his own advice.
Jones, who suffered broken bones and severe bruising, lived to describe his initial harrowing plunge on national TV.
He told ABC’s Good Morning America in 2003 that he felt calm despite hearing screams as he approached the Falls. Jones described how he was sucked into fast-moving water. The bottom, he said, felt like smashing into a table. He added he was sucked into a whirlpool and thrown into a rock, which broke a rib.
"I realized 'Wow, I'm not dead. I'm alive.' And all of the thoughts of dying at that point were gone. I wanted to live," Jones said.
It’s unclear what changed.
Authorities haven’t been able to reach Jones’ next of kin.
According to reports, Jones had been living in Florida after joining a circus.
A Niagara Falls tour boat recovered a large inflatable ball near the falls, according to reports.
Jones was the first of four people to survive an unprotected plunge.
In 2012, a man in his 40s became the most recent person to survive an unprotected trip over the Falls.