Dramatic Rescue Attempt as Car Floats Toward Edge of Niagara Falls

"We've never had a vehicle in the water this close to the brink."

Dramatic scenes unfolded on Wednesday as the Coast Guard attempted to rescue a woman whose car somehow ended up floating toward the edge of Niagara Falls.

Crowds gathered on the banks of the rushing river as rescuers raced against time to help the driver before the vehicle was pulled over the edge of the 180ft drop.

While a helicopter successfully managed to pluck the woman from the car, sadly it was too late; they discovered she was already dead inside the car.

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The drama kicked off on Wednesday afternoon when multiple witnesses reported seeing the car floating along the river.

State Parks Police Captain Chris Rola told WIBV that police and fire drones were quickly scrambled to try ascertain how many people were in the car. They quickly discovered there was just one — and she didn’t appear to be moving.

With the Coast Guard helicopter hovering above in difficult weather conditions, a crew member managed to winch down and get inside the car, grabbing the driver before flying to safety.

Captain Rola said it was impossible to wade out to the vehicle safely without two anchoring points of contact, so the decision had been quickly made to use the chopper.

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Investigators still do not know why the vehicle entered the water. The yet to be identified deceased woman, who lived locally, is believed to have driven into the river between the nearby passenger and traffic bridges.

“We’ve never had a vehicle in the water this close to the brink,” he said.

Rola praised the “incredible” effort made by the rescuers in what were extremely dangerous conditions.

The Canadian Coast Guard also assisted in the rescue effort. State Parks Police are now trying to figure out the safest way to retrieve the stranded vehicle from the water.

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