A woman died on Tuesday on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls after she was swept into the pounding water and tumbled over the Falls in front of a boat full of tourists below, in what officials are now calling a possible suicide attempt.
Witnesses told CNN that the woman looked as though she was alive as she was going over Horseshoe Falls at 4:30 p.m. and the Maid of the Mist, the tourist boat that travels the waters below the Falls, sent help but the woman was already dead when the boat found her.
The crew recovered her body.
Niagara Falls police are investigating the woman’s death and they have not yet released her identity, pending family notification.
A witness told the Toronto Sun that the woman was in her 50s and had been swimming in the Niagara River when she was pulled into the current and went tumbling over the Falls.
The woman, who is believed to be in her 50s, was swimming in the Niagara River before she was swept into the water below and likely drowned, he said.
Horseshoe Falls is 2,201 feet wide and measures 9.8 feet deep at its center. The water travels over the falls at about 20 mph and drops 174 feet into 184-foot waters at its base.
Only ten people are known to have survived the violent trip over the Falls.
Buffalo TV reported that passengers on the Maid of the Mist saw the woman go over the steep falls as they watched from the waters below.
Members of the Casino Patrol Unit Detective Office are continuing to investigate what exactly happened, and anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Kirk Jones of Michigan became the first person to ever survive the plunge over Niagara Falls wearing only his clothing and nothing for protection (like a barrel). Jones swam into the current near Horseshoe Falls and made the drop.
One of the Maid of the Mist boats offered him a ride to shore, but Jones decided to swim instead.
Jones ended up with only bumps and bruises, as well as a fine of $2,300. He was also banned from ever entering Canada again–for his entire life.