William “Red” Hill Jr.
April 12, 2019
William “Red” Hill Jr.

On August 5, 1951, William “Red” Hill Jr. went over Niagara Falls in a contraption called “The Thing”. His flimsy contraption consisted of 13 truck tire inner tubes, held together with fish net and canvas straps.The event was well publicised with tens of thousands of spectators. The police made no effort to stop it. Red Hill Jr. and his father, Red Hill Sr., were famous river men and stunters and were widely known in the area.In the mid afternoon of that fateful day for the 38 year old, he climbed into his self made protective device and took the plunge over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Unfortunately, the power and turmoil of the Falls tore “The Thing” to pieces. The multitude of riverside on lookers held their breath as inner tubes and other remnants of net and canvas began to emerge from the boiling water below the Falls. William Red Hill Jr.’s badly bruised body was recovered the next day in the area of the Maid of the Mist boat landing on the Canadian side.After this tragic event, stunting at Niagara Falls was prohibited by Canadian and American authorities. If you survive the stunt, you may be arrested by the Niagara Parks Police and fined to a maximum of $10,000.

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