Karl Soucek

Amateur stuntman Karl Soucek of Hamilton Ontario would make his fateful journey over the Horseshoe Falls on July 3, 1984. Soucek had spent $15,000 in his attempt to conquer the Falls. He built a specially designed lightweight barrel, which was made of a combination of metal and plastic, and was equipped with a two-way radio so he could maintain contact with his team on shore. Soucek’s trip over the falls would last only 20 seconds, before he became trapped in the rapids below, his barrel bouncing off the rocks for over 45 minutes. When he was finally freed he emerged with minor cuts and bruises and a broken tooth. He was later fined $500.00 for the stunt. Soucek wanted to top his plunge over the Falls, and on January 19th, 1985, he attempted a free fall stunt in a wooden barrel at the Houston Astrodome. The barrel was supposed to plunge into a water filled tank, unfortunately the stunt went terribly wrong and he plunged to his death while spectators looked on in horror. He is buried in the Drummond Hill Cemetery in Niagara Falls.