Bobby Leach
April 12, 2019
Bobby Leach

The first man to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel survived. Bobby Leach, originally from Cornwall, England, and then residing in Niagara Falls, New York, went over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls on July 25, 1911. Although he was in a strong, new steel barrel, he suffered scrapes, bruises and fractures, and was hospitalised for several months. Earlier that same year, April 21, he jumped from the Falls View Bridge and parachuted into the Niagara River, and he successfully maneuvered the whirlpool Rapids in a different steel barrel on June 28, 1911.Fourteen years later, at age 67, Bobby Leach went with his daughter to visit Australia and New Zealand. While walking down a street in New Zealand on April 29, 1925, he slipped on an orange peel and broke his leg. After infection and complications, his leg had to be amputated. He died shortly after the operation of gangrene poisoning.After surviving a plunge over Mighty Niagara Falls, his untimely death is ironic. An unknown poet from Plainfield, New Jersey wrote this poem:Now is the story of brave Bobby Leach,That tries every stunt that a mortal could reach.He conquered Niagara, Rapids and Falls,Balloon –borne,he weathered the wind’s wildest squalls-Until. Like Achilles, old fate found his heelHe died from a slip on a stray orange peel.

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