Between 1901 and 1985, ten people went over the Falls in a ball, barrel or rig, the first being 63 year old school teacher Annie Edson Taylor, who survived. 7 more survived this most bizarre of stunts while perished, which came as no shock to anyone. Since 1985, five more persons have gone over the Falls and one of them was professional stuntman Karel Soucek. In 1984, this Canadian daredevil invented a shock absorbent barrel designed for this very purpose and on July 2 off he went, off Niagara Falls I mean.
Although he emerged for his barrel bleeding a little, he was actually fine. Buoyed by his success, he would attempt the stunt again but this time in the Houston Astrodome, and this time being dropped 180 feet into a tank of water. Unfortunately for Soucek, someone released the barrel too early and it began spinning out of control. Instead of splashing into the center of the tank, it smashed off the side fatally injuring him. He would die from his injuries soon after.