Saturday 9 July 2011

Roger's Ride

On this day in 1960 a seven-year-old boy plunged over Niagara Falls in nothing more than a life jacket and lived to tell the tale.  Roger Woodward and his sister were invited by family friend Jim Honeycutt to go fishing for the day on his motorboat in the Niagara River.  As they travelled down the river closer to the Falls, the boat's motor cut out after hitting a rock.  Jim could not fight the strong current and the threesome headed closer and closer to the precipice at the Horshoe Falls.  The boat capsized, throwing its three occupants into the frothy waters of the river.  Jim, not wearing a life jacket, was pulled over the Falls and drowned at the bottom of the chute.  Roger's sister, Deanne, who had thrown on a lifejacket, managed to grab on to something solid and was rescued by two tourists only 20 feet from the edge of the Falls.  Roger, in his lifejacket, was pulled over the Falls, landing in a pool of water rather than on the jagged rocks in the whirlpool, and bouncing back up like a cork.  After swimming for a few minutes, he was rescued by the Maid of the Mist.  What was Roger's first word upon being rescued?  "Gosh!"  Although suffering a mild concussion and some scrapes and bruises, Roger was able to make a full recovery from his plunge over Niagara Falls.

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