A woman died at Niagara Falls after her car got swept into the waterfall. Dramatic footage shows the moment when a helicopter tried to Niagara Falls rescue her. Rescue teams were able to pull the woman from the car, but she was pronounced dead on the scene. Police are investigating.
The incident happened on the American side of Niagara Falls and police are trying to determine how the accident took place. It is unclear how the car got so far into the falls, but investigators say that the car entered somewhere in between the Goat Island pedestrian bridge and vehicle bridge, according to witnesses.
Photos and video from the incident, which happened Wednesday afternoon around noon, show the vehicle 50 yards away from going over the edge. The trunk was open and most of the car was submerged in the water.
At the time of the incident, the water of the falls reached near freezing temperatures. Reports say the water was around 43 degrees. After the rescue, the U.S. Coast Guard tweeted and said, “Air Station Detroit helicopter crew members hoisted one female from the vehicle in the Niagara River and transferred her to local EMS. The individual was pronounced deceased on scene.”
Police say that the woman who was rescued lived near the falls. She was 60 years old and the only passenger in the vehicle at the time of the rescue. During the Niagara Falls rescue, water levels were lowered to help Coast Guard members reach the vehicle.
“We have never had a vehicle in the water this close,” said New York State Park Police Captain Christopher Rola when talking about how close the car got to the waterfall.
The woman’s identity has not been released to the public as police are waiting to notify her family. A cause of death has not been determined.
After the rescue, New York Governor Kathy Hochul took to Twitter to thank the people who helped recover the woman and her vehicle. She said, “saddened by the tragic loss of life at the Niagara River today. Thank you @nystateparks, @NYSPolice, @USCG, New York State Fire, Niagara County, & AMR Ambulance for your swift and heroic actions, and to @NYPAenergy for lowering river levels to assist first responders.”
Police crews and media outlets continue to stay on the scene as they learn more about this scary incident. The area around the falls has been blocked off and the woman’s vehicle is still in the water.
Many people who have been to the falls were shocked at the daring Niagara Falls rescue Wednesday afternoon. Some took to Twitter to share their experiences with the massive waterfall. One person wrote, “If you’ve never been to Niagara Falls, you really don’t understand the angry waters of this river. It is scary on a good day in perfect weather. This is absolutely terrifying.”
This is not the first time that there has been a Niagara Falls rescue. In March 2021, video surfaced of a 54-year-old woman being rescued from the lower parts of the falls after getting stuck on her homemade raft.
The rescue happened near Lewiston Landing and according to reports, the woman didn’t want to be rescued! When she refused to come back to shore, U.S. Coast Guard officers drove a boat closer to her and tried to perform a water rescue, but she just paddled away.
A second attempt led to the officers being threatened by the woman who had two steak knives in her possession. When they were finally able to get her to safety, officers were praised for their hard work and bravery.
“The heroic actions of agents and officers to save this woman’s life is amazing,” said Patrol Agent in Charge Brady Waikel of the Niagara Falls Border Patrol Station. “They risked their lives to help a distraught woman in very dangerous conditions, but this is what law enforcement does every day.”