One-time Niagara Falls survivor dies after apparent repeat stunt

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The first person to survive a death-defying plunge into Niagara Falls without protection has died after apparently attempting the feat again in an inflatable ball, according to United States media. Detective Sgt. Brian Nisbet of the New York State Park Police said that when Jones survived the daring feat, he became the first person to ever survive an unprotected plunge over Niagara Falls.

Tethered to a safety harness as legally required, Erendira Vasquez Wallenda said the wind above the falls was far more fierce than she had expected, prompting the pilot to nose the chopper a little higher.

Two days after he survived a plunge over the Horseshoe Falls in 2003, a bruised and sore Kirk Jones told the Niagara Falls Review he fully meant to kill himself that day. The stunt helped seal his reputation as "a daredevil".

Michael Clarkson, who interviewed Jones for his recent book The Age of Daredevils, said it's likely Jones was thrown out of the ball by the force of the rapids.

In 2003, Jones pleaded guilty in Canada to a criminal charge of unlawfully performing a stunt and mischief and was fined $3,000. "I ask that no one ever try such a awful stunt again", he added.

Kirk Jones tried the stunt again on April 19 - this time in a 10-foot inflatable ball - but was killed the second time around.

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"I never stopped dreaming and thinking of things that I could do", she said.

Jones reportedly told his friend he would probably make a lot of money if he was able to do the stunt and survive. He heard people screaming that there was a man in the water, he said. He suffered broken ribs and a bruised spine. The bottom, he said, felt like smashing into a table.

The city and Niagara County Legislature each donated $35,000 to the production of the stunt in an effort to boost tourism, reports AP.

Three people have survived going over the falls without protection since Jones first did it, the Post-Standard reported.

The family of Jones, a resident of Spring Hill, Florida, had not been reached by police as of June 15.

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