Peter DeBernardi and Jeffrey Petkovich
April 12, 2019
Peter DeBernardi and Jeffrey Petkovich

On Wednesday September 27, 1989 Peter DeBernardi, 42 years old, from Niagara Falls, Ontario and Jeffrey Petkovich, 24 years old, from Ottawa, became the first to go over Niagara Falls together in the same barrel. It was a converted 12 foot tank weighing 300 lbs (136 kg), containing two hammocks, seat belts, plexi-glass windows and an interior video camera. After taking the plunge, the barrel emerged near the Canadian shore where members of their crew snagged it. Once the hatch was opened, the two emerged relatively uninjured. They refused to go to the hospital and were charged by the Niagara Parks police. They said they did it “To fight drugs there's a lot better things for kids to do than be on the brink of dope - Go over the brink of the Falls, you'll see what a high is all about.” The following summer, on August 15, 1990, DeBernardi was stopped by US border control agent when he tried to enter Niagara Falls, New York with a flatbed truck carrying a large yellow donut shaped barrel. He was deported and told not to return to the United States for 5 years. His ambition to do what no one has ever done, go over the American Falls, was thwarted.

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