Tonawanda News

Local News

April 26, 2014

Man talked out of falls rapids by park police

Tonawanda News — New York State Park Police say it took them about 40 minutes to talk a "highly intoxicated" man out of the fast flowing waters of the Niagara River rapids on Saturday afternoon.

Officers responded, just after 2 p.m., to a call of a man standing in the rapids, just off of Three Sisters Island. Witnesses said the man had just "walked into the water" which was up to his thighs.

At that point in the rapids, the water is flowing as fast as 35 mph and the footing is rocky and slippery.

Park Police Lt. Patrick Moriarty, who commands the department's Swift Water Rescue Team, wadded out into the water to a depth of about knee-high and began talking to the man. After close to 40 minutes of conversation, the man walked over to Moriarty who then led him back to the shoreline.

Other than being intoxicated, the man should no other signs of injury from his excursion into the water.

He was transported to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for a mental health evaluation. Police are not identifying the man and no charges have been filed against him.

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