‘God in his top pocket’: Man survives after being swept over Niagara Falls, plunging 188 feet into water

A Canadian man survived after being swept over the largest waterfall at Niagara Falls on early Tuesday morning. 

Niagara Parks police responded to the unidentified man on the brink of the 188-foot-high Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side at 4 a.m. Tuesday. 

“On arrival male was observed to climb over retaining wall and swept over falls,” the police department tweeted. 

The man was sitting on rocks after a search of the lower river, police said on Twitter. 

He was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to officials.

 Mayor Jim Diodati of Niagara Falls, Ontario, told the Buffalo News that he believes record-high water levels in Lake Erie and Ontario played a role in saving the man.

“I know firsthand the lake levels are at all-time high levels. When Lake Erie is higher and flowing more robustly to Lake Ontario, there is a better chance of missing the massive boulders under the Horseshoe Falls,” Diodati said. “The only way you would ever have a chance to survive that kind of a fall was to overshoot the large rocks below.”

“In this case, for this individual, hopefully he will see it as a blessing,” he said.

Andy Essor, an Ontario resident, told the outlet that the man is “a very lucky guy.”

“Not many people do it and survive,” Essor said. “He definitely has God in his top pocket."

Niagara Parks police confirmed that they will not be releasing the man’s name. 

On July 9, the same day 59 years ago, Roger Woodward of Niagara Falls, N.Y., who was 7 years old at the time, became the first person known to survive a plunge over Horseshoe Falls without being in a barrel, the Buffalo News reported. 

Horseshoe Falls is the largest of the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls. The other two are American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. 

The rapids above the falls reach a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour, with the fastest speeds recorded up to 68 miles per hour at the falls themselves, according to the Niagara Parks website.

Niagara Falls may be the fastest-moving waterfalls in the world, the website said. The river at the base of the falls is 100 feet deep.

An estimated 25 people per year commit suicide by going over the falls, according to the Buffalo News. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.