Información

Niagara Falls AFS-3 - Historia


Cataratas del Niágara
(AFS-3: dp. 16,050 (f.); 1. 581 '3 "; b. 79'; dr. 23 '10"; s. 20 k .; cpl. 435; a. 8 3 "/ 50; cl. Marte)

Las Cataratas del Niágara (AFS-3) fueron colocadas el 22 de mayo de 1965 por National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, California; lanzado el 26 de marzo de 1966, patrocinado por la Sra. Jacob Javits, esposa del senador principal de Nueva York; entregado a la Marina en el Astillero Naval de Long Beach, Long Beach, California, el 20 de abril de 1967; y comisionado el 29 de abril, el capitán Horace C. Holley al mando.

Las Cataratas del Niágara están diseñadas para entregar almacenes refrigerados, provisiones secas, repuestos técnicos y material tipo almacén general a la flota en el mar. Su configuración proporciona tasas de emisión rápidas utilizando un mínimo de hombres y lo último en métodos de transferencia en el mar, manejo de carga, técnicas de almacenamiento y automatización. Ella es capaz de reabastecer simultáneamente un barco en cada lado, así como transferir material mediante helicópteros de carga que transporta.

Después del shakedown inicial, el nuevo barco de la tienda de combate cargó 2500 toneladas de tiendas en Naval Supply Center, Oakland, California y hasta septiembre completó las pruebas finales de aceeptanee y la disponibilidad posterior al shakedown en San Diego.

El 4 de febrero de 1968, las Cataratas del Niágara completaron su disponibilidad de shakedown y continuaron los preparativos para su primer despliegue. Navegó hacia WestPae el 28 de marzo, llegó a la bahía de Subic el 14 de abril y allí llevó a cabo la primera de muchas reposiciones.

A su llegada el 22 de abril a An Thoi, Vietnam del Sur, transfirió más de 100 toneladas de material y dos días después suministró unidades anfibias en Vung Tau. En la bahía de Cam Rahn el 25 de abril, las Cataratas del Niágara suministraron barcos y la actividad de apoyo naval allí. También suministró barcos del Grupo de Apoyo Naval Gunfire frente a la costa de Vietnam, e hizo varios cambios de reabastecimiento a través de las áreas de Yankee Station y Market Time.

Las Cataratas del Niágara completaron la última reposición de su despliegue el 15 de septiembre, hicieron escala en Hong Kong del 17 al 21 de septiembre, en Pearl Harbor del 9 al 10 de octubre, y llegaron a San Diego el 17 de octubre. Completando los preparativos para otro despliegue y transferencia del puerto base a Sasebo a eommenee el 3 de enero de 1969 con la llegada del Año Nuevo, las Cataratas del Niágara partieron hacia WestPae por segunda vez.


Cataratas del Niágara

Cataratas del Niágara / n aɪ ˈ æ ɡ r ə, n aɪ ˈ æ ɡ ə r ə / es un grupo de tres cascadas en el extremo sur de Niagara Gorge, que abarca la frontera entre la provincia de Ontario en Canadá y el estado de Nueva York en el Estados Unidos. La más grande de las tres es Horseshoe Falls, también conocida como Canadian Falls, que se extiende a ambos lados de la frontera internacional de los dos países. [1] Las más pequeñas American Falls y Bridal Veil Falls se encuentran dentro de los Estados Unidos. Bridal Veil Falls está separada de Horseshoe Falls por Goat Island y de American Falls por Luna Island, con ambas islas situadas en Nueva York.

Fluyendo hacia el norte como parte del río Niágara, que drena el lago Erie en el lago Ontario, las cataratas combinadas tienen la tasa de flujo más alta de cualquier cascada en América del Norte que tiene una caída vertical de más de 50 m (160 pies). Durante las horas pico de turismo, más de 168.000 m 3 (seis millones de pies cúbicos) de agua pasan por encima de la cresta de las cataratas cada minuto. [2] Horseshoe Falls es la cascada más poderosa de América del Norte, medida por la tasa de flujo. [3] Las Cataratas del Niágara son famosas por su belleza y son una valiosa fuente de energía hidroeléctrica. Equilibrar los usos recreativos, comerciales e industriales ha sido un desafío para los administradores de las cataratas desde el siglo XIX.

Las Cataratas del Niágara se encuentran a 27 km (17 millas) al norte-noroeste de Buffalo, Nueva York, y 121 km (75 millas) al sur-sureste de Toronto, entre las ciudades gemelas de las Cataratas del Niágara, Ontario y las Cataratas del Niágara, Nueva York. Las Cataratas del Niágara se formaron cuando los glaciares retrocedieron al final de la glaciación de Wisconsin (la última edad de hielo), y el agua de los Grandes Lagos recién formados abrió un camino sobre y a través de la Escarpa del Niágara en ruta hacia el Océano Atlántico.


Contenido

Cataratas del Niágara fue establecido el 22 de mayo de 1965 en la Compañía Nacional de Acero y Construcción Naval en San Diego lanzado el 26 de marzo de 1966 patrocinado por la esposa del senador principal Jacob Javits, desde Nueva York entregado a la Marina en el Astillero Naval de Long Beach, Long Beach, California , el 20 de abril de 1967 y encargado el 29 de abril, con el capitán Horace C. Holley al mando.

Después del shakedown inicial, el nuevo barco de la tienda de combate cargó 2.500 toneladas de tiendas en Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, y hasta septiembre completó las pruebas de aceptación final y la disponibilidad posterior al shakedown en San Diego.

Vietnam, 1968-1973

Para el 4 de febrero de 1968, Cataratas del Niágara completó su disponibilidad de shakedown y continuó los preparativos para su primer despliegue. Zarpó hacia WestPac el 28 de marzo, llegó a Subic Bay el 14 de abril y allí llevó a cabo la primera de muchas reposiciones.

A su llegada el 22 de abril a An Thoi, Vietnam del Sur, transfirió más de 100 toneladas de material y dos días después suministró unidades anfibias en Vung Tau. En la bahía de Cam Rahn el 25 de abril Cataratas del Niágara barcos abastecidos y la Actividad de Apoyo Naval allí. También suministró barcos del Grupo de Apoyo Naval Gunfire frente a la costa de Vietnam e hizo varios cambios de reabastecimiento a través de las áreas de Yankee Station y Market Time.

Cataratas del Niágara completó la última reposición de su despliegue de 1971 el 15 de septiembre, hizo escala en Hong Kong del 17 al 21 de septiembre, en Pearl Harbor del 9 al 10 de octubre, y regresó a San Diego el 17 de octubre. Completando los preparativos para otro despliegue y transferencia del puerto base a Sasebo que comenzará el 3 de enero de 1969 con la llegada del Año Nuevo, Cataratas del Niágara al vapor para WestPac por segunda vez.

Durante la Guerra de Vietnam, el Cataratas del Niágara participó en las siguientes campañas: Contraofensiva vietnamita Fases IV, V, VI Tet 69 / Contraofensiva Vietnam Verano / Otoño 69 Vietnam Invierno / Primavera 70 Santuario Contraofensiva Vietnamita Contraofensiva Fase VII Consolidación I Vietnam Alto el fuego.

El 14 de septiembre de 1970, Cataratas del Niágara encontró y rescató el velero de 45 pies (14 & # 160m) Galilea que había sido objeto de una intensa búsqueda durante más de un mes. Cuando fue avistado, el barco estaba a unas 400 millas náuticas (740 & # 160 km) al oeste / noroeste de Honolulu. Los tres tripulantes llevaban sin comida desde el 27 de julio (el Galilea partió de Tahití el 17 de junio hacia Honolulu). Fueron rescatados Julian Ritter, Laurene Louise Kokx y Winfried Bernard Heiringhoff. Según el médico del barco, los rescatados estaban a días de morir. [1]

Durante el período del 15 al 30 de julio de 1971 Cataratas del Niágara y Sacramento son señalados por Empresa operando en la estación Yankee como conduciendo un complejo VERTREP de cuatro helicópteros.

"The Falls" regresó a Vietnam en 1972, continuó su ciclo de reabastecimiento de un fin de semana en el puerto (normalmente en la Base Naval de los EE. UU. Subic Bay, PI) y dos semanas "en línea", durante el otoño de 1972 y hasta la primavera de 1973. Normal La rutina incluía reabastecer a los destructores en la línea de armas y continuar hasta la estación Yankee para reabastecer los portaaviones, incluido el USS Ranger (CV-61) y el USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). Después del alto el fuego, las Cataratas del Niágara apoyaron al grupo de barreminas que estaba ayudando a limpiar el puerto de Hanoi (Haiphong) de las minas que fueron lanzadas por aviones navales.

A principios de la década de 1970, el destacado espía John Anthony Walker, Jr. (Johnny) sirvió en Cataratas del Niágara 'sala de radio. Fue durante sus tres años a bordo del Cataratas del Niágara sirviendo como Custodio de Sistemas de Materiales Clasificados (CMS) que Walker tenía acceso a las diversas máquinas criptográficas (KW-7, KWR-37, KG-14, KY-8 y KL-47) proporcionando las claves para casi todas ellas al KGB. Al ser un barco de suministros, el Cataratas del Niágara recibió mensajes clasificados sobre movimientos de barcos frente a Vietnam y en el Mar de China Meridional. Con el fin de entregar esta información clasificada a los contactos soviéticos, los investigadores creen que CWO3 Walker hizo giros muertos en los puertos de escala, incluidos Filipinas, Hong Kong. Ante la sospecha de una violación de inteligencia de las Cataratas del Niágara, un operativo de inteligencia fue insertado como un radiólogo junior a mediados de la década de 1970 para confirmar, pero los hallazgos no fueron concluyentes. [2]

Legado del Agente Naranja de Vietnam, 1968

los Cataratas del Niágara se incluyó en una lista de barcos que estuvieron expuestos al Agente Naranja. El Departamento de Asuntos de los Veteranos identificó ciertos tipos de embarcaciones que operaban principal o exclusivamente en las vías navegables del interior de Vietnam. Porque ella río arriba, se reconoció que el USS Niagara Falls estaba expuesto a vías fluviales contaminadas durante las misiones en el río Saigón y en la bahía de Cam Rahn, del 22 al 25 de abril de 1968. Durante la guerra, las "Cataratas" estuvieron más expuestas a la escorrentía del Agente Naranja y otros herbicidas cuando ancló en el puerto de Da Nang, regresó a la bahía de Cam Rahn y navegó a lo largo de las aguas litorales de Vietnam del Sur. Los estudios de los barcos de la armada australiana muestran que los sistemas de destilación por evaporación de agua salada en realidad aumentaron la concentración de Agente Naranja en el agua para beber y cocinar, y el sistema de destilación se cubrió de toxinas herbicidas. [3] El Departamento de Asuntos de Veteranos aún debe reconocer estos estudios australianos y otorgar cobertura médica a los marineros de "aguas azules" que han estado expuestos en las "Cataratas del Niágara" y otros barcos de la armada que realizaron misiones a lo largo de la costa de Vietnam.

1983–1991

El 6 de septiembre de 1983, Cataratas del Niágara cambió de puerto base a Guam y se convirtió en parte de los elementos desplegados de avanzada del CTF 73/75, parte de la 7ª Flota. Desde ese momento hasta enero de 1991, el barco llevó a cabo tres sesiones de capacitación de actualización, cinco inspecciones de OPPRE, cuatro de SMI, cinco de ARE y tres de INSURV. Hizo escalas en numerosos lugares como Yokosuka y Sasebo, Japón Hong Kong Subic Bay y Cebu, Filipinas Bali, Indonesia Fremantle / Perth, Australia Singapur Muscat, Omán Bahrein Pattaya y Phuket, Tailandia Fujiarah, Emiratos Árabes Unidos y Diego García. Varias de estas ubicaciones fueron visitadas más de una vez. Cataratas del Niágara participó en numerosas operaciones de apoyo a la flota, incluidas las repetidas Masirah Airheads, Operation Team Spirit y PACEX-89.

los Cataratas del Niágara recibió el premio "7mo buque de apoyo logístico de combate de la flota" por su desempeño en el PACEX-89, un ejercicio naval combinado de EE. UU., Corea y Japón que fue el más grande desde el final de la Guerra de Corea. Incluido en PACEX-89 barcos tan notables como el New Jersey, Misuri, Empresa y Nimitz. Durante PACEX-89 Cataratas del Niágara era la nave de mando del Underway Replenishment Group.

Debido a la naturaleza de la tarea de un buque de almacenamiento de combate, y el desempeño sobresaliente el Cataratas del Niágara ha brindado en el servicio de apoyo logístico, se ha ganado el apodo de "Fighting Falls" por parte de la Séptima Flota de la Marina de los Estados Unidos. Hasta 1991 el Lucha contra las caídas había apoyado las operaciones de la Séptima Flota durante 15 despliegues de WestPac / Océano Índico / Golfo Pérsico. los Cataratas del Niágara fue galardonado con el elogio de Unidad Meritoria y también recibió la Batalla "E" después de un despliegue extendido durante casi ocho meses seguido inmediatamente por otro despliegue de mecha corta.

Cataratas del Niágara participó en la fase de la guerra de los petroleros de la guerra Irán-Irak apoyando la Operación Prime Chance y la Operación Earnest Will. En una acción cercana el Cataratas del Niágara se cruzó con un minador iraní y durante una hora tensa el Lucha contra las caídas, preparada para defenderse. No hubo intercambio de disparos, la inteligencia sobre el minero fue transmitida por el Capitán Gay a la flota y el barco iraní fue posteriormente interceptado por las fuerzas combatientes de la Armada de los EE. UU. Cataratas del Niágara a menudo visitó Bahrein, Fujiarah, Muscat y las evoluciones obligatorias de Masirah Airhead durante este tiempo.

Cataratas del Niágara fue uno de los primeros barcos sin depósito en ser asignados miembros femeninos de la tripulación, comenzando con la teniente comandante. Carol Rengstorff como directora ejecutiva. Aproximadamente 30 mujeres marineros y oficiales se hicieron parte de la Cataratas del Niágara tripulación poco después.

Primera Guerra del Golfo

Cataratas del Niágara participó en la Operación Tormenta del Desierto, transitando el Estrecho de Ormuz a la medianoche del 16 de enero de 1991 y se le asignó un área de operaciones en el extremo norte del Golfo Pérsico, conocida como 'NAG' o área de operaciones del Norte del Golfo Arábigo, este era el mar frente a Kuwait que fue fuertemente minado por iraquíes antes del inicio de las operaciones de combate. Debido a los limitados activos de contramedidas de minas en el Golfo Pérsico y el área de operaciones "Fighting Falls", se asignó un destacamento de EODMU. Durante el curso de la guerra el Cataratas del Niágara ella misma destruyó cinco minas navales mientras operaba en el norte del Golfo Pérsico.

Un incidente interesante el 23 de enero fue el destello visible de una explosión reportada por el vigía de popa, posiblemente un misil Scud errante que se había informado que se dirigía hacia el Golfo Pérsico.

El 29 de marzo Cataratas del Niágara asistió al M / V Mercs Horana que estaba sufriendo un gran incendio a bordo mientras navegaba en el Mar de Salton. los Caídas llegó por la noche y la tripulación se presentó con la imagen aleccionadora del Horana la superestructura completamente envuelta en llamas, y otros cuatro barcos de la coalición, incluido el Shasta y Francis Hammond dando vueltas a la vasija en llamas. Cataratas del Niágara Se le dijo al At-Sea Fire Party que estuviera listo para el regreso de la lancha, sin embargo, el barco de la Commonwealth Coalition a cargo en el lugar declinó la mano de obra y solicitó que se le proporcionara espuma de repuesto para combatir incendios.

Por pasar 143 días en la zona de combate y operar al norte de 28.30 N y al oeste de 49.30 E entre el 17 de enero y el 28 de febrero de 1991, el barco recibió la Cinta de Acción de Combate. Durante el curso de la guerra el Cataratas del Niágara la asignación principal era el USS Missouri grupo de batalla, sin embargo, ella también guardabosque, el Grupo Anfibio y los barcos hospitales. Durante este período el Cataratas del Niágara reabastecería principalmente de Jebel Ali cerca de Dubai, sin embargo también se hicieron paradas en Bahrein y Abu Dhabi.

1991–1994

Mientras regresaba de la Guerra del Golfo y disfrutaba de una llamada de libertad en Phuket, Tailandia, cuando el volcán Monte Pinatubo entró en erupción en Filipinas. los Cataratas del Niágara Los equipos de servicio cargaron algunas tiendas en Phuket y, mientras terminaban temprano la escala en el puerto Liberty, se dirigieron a Singapur para cargar suministros adicionales y viajaron a Subic Bay, Filipinas, para descargar alimentos y tiendas para el esfuerzo de socorro y recuperación, llamado Operación Vigilia Ardiente. Incluso llegando a Subic Bay algunos días después de la erupción principal, el Caídas Se cubrió rápidamente con una capa de ceniza que recuerda a una fuerte nevada. Cinco tripulantes se quedaron en Phuket y se reunieron con el barco en su puerto de origen en Guam.

Desde finales de 1991 hasta principios de 1992, el barco entró en dique seco para su reacondicionamiento y revisión. Esto vio la mejora de la capacidad de la estación de reabastecimiento al agregar un "brazo" a uno de los marcos "M" del barco.

En la primavera y el verano de 1992, el barco realizó un mini crucero Westpac por los puertos del suroeste asiático de Singapur, Hong Kong y Japón.

En agosto de 1992, el tifón Omar arrasó la isla de Guam. El barco estaba fuera de servicio para el tren principal y no pudo hacerse a la mar. El barco fue arrancado de sus amarras y atravesó el puerto principal, chocando contra una barcaza de reabastecimiento de combustible y finalmente encalló en la orilla poco profunda de la laguna. El daño a la nave fue mínimo, sin embargo su hermana-nave, llanuras blancas, fue arrancado de sus amarras y encalló en una playa de coral duro en el puerto de Apra.

Una vez hecho operativo, el Cataratas del Niágara navegó hasta el astillero de la base naval de Yokosuka para realizar más reparaciones y pruebas. El barco regresa a Guam a principios de septiembre para cargar sus provisiones para su próximo despliegue. El barco partió a fines de septiembre de 1992 hacia el Golfo Pérsico.

Comando de Transporte Marítimo Militar, 1994-2008

Cataratas del Niágara fue dada de baja en septiembre de 1994 y asignada al Comando de Transporte Marítimo Militar, donde fue puesta en servicio el 23 de septiembre de 1994 como USNS Cataratas del Niágara (T-AFS-3), adscrito a la Fuerza Auxiliar de la Flota Naval.

El 19 de abril de 1997, mientras realizaba un VERTREP con Constelación uno de los Caídas Los helicópteros UH-46E Sea Knight se estrellaron contra el mar. El accidente ocurrió aproximadamente a 2.000 millas náuticas (3.700 & # 160 km) al suroeste de Hawai y los cuatro miembros de la tripulación fueron rescatados de manera segura. Los miembros de la tripulación del helicóptero del Escuadrón de Apoyo de Helicópteros Cinco fueron rescatados por la rápida reacción de otros helicópteros CH-46 en la escena en el momento del incidente. En el rescate asistió un bote ballenero a motor de Cataratas del Niágara. Los cuatro tripulantes, que no resultaron heridos, fueron trasladados a Constelación para observación médica y fueron entregados a la Cataratas del Niágara el mismo día.

El 27 de noviembre de 2001, el oficial de suministros Donald J. O'Brien se retiró del Comando de Transporte Marítimo Militar a bordo del Cataratas del Niágara, treinta años después de retirarse de la Marina de los Estados Unidos a bordo del mismo barco.

Entre el 11 de septiembre y el 27 de noviembre de 2001 Cataratas del Niágara rompió sus récords tanto de la Marina como de la TAR por el número de paletas movidas con un total de 10,743 paletas, el doble del número promedio durante un período de tiempo de implementación similar.

En abril de 2003 se informó que Cataratas del Niágara El tripulante había desarrollado un método externo único para transportar correo durante VERTREP para superar las diferencias de los helicópteros SH-60 en comparación con los helicópteros HH-46 más antiguos y espaciosos.

Cataratas del Niágara fue enviado desde Guam el 2 de enero de 2005 en apoyo de las operaciones de socorro tras el tsunami (Operación Asistencia Unificada), transportando suministros de socorro desde Singapur al Abraham Lincoln para distribución a las áreas dañadas.

El 27 de octubre de 2005 Cataratas del Niágara encalló al salir del puerto de Malakal, Palau a las 13:00 hora local, pero pudo liberarse dos días después a las 16:20. No hubo informes de heridos o fugas del barco. Durante el período de dos días, el Cataratas del Niágara transfirió el combustible y la carga a popa dentro del barco, reduciendo el peso del área de proa del barco. Durante el período de marea alta de la tarde del 29 de octubre, el barco pudo liberarse por sus propios medios y con la ayuda de un remolcador local.

USNS Cataratas del Niágara completó su última operación de apoyo a la misión en julio de 2008 y fue desactivada en Pearl Harbor en septiembre de 2008.

En 2010, el barco fue seleccionado para hundirse como objetivo. [4] [5]

Aproximadamente a las 11:30 y # 160 a. M. Del 14 de julio de 2012, Cataratas del Niágara fue hundido por múltiples impactos de UTM-84, RGM-84, GBU-10, GBU-32 y 30 mm [6] en aguas de 15,480 pies de profundidad, 63 millas náuticas al suroeste de Kauai como un barco objetivo durante el ejercicio RIMPAC de 2012. [7]


Cronología de Falls Firsts

1678
El monje y explorador franciscano Louis Hennepin se convierte en el primer explorador europeo en encontrar las cataratas. Impresionado, Hennepin estima que las cataratas tienen una altura increíble de 600 pies, aunque en realidad se elevan 170 pies.

1846
Ahora, una de las atracciones turísticas más famosas de las Cataratas del Niágara, el Maid of the Mist realiza su viaje inaugural como ferry, cobrando una tarifa para transportar personas, carga y correo a través del río. Cuando la terminación de un puente comienza a erosionar el negocio en 1846, el Maid of the Mist se convierte en un barco turístico que lleva a los visitantes cerca de Horseshoe Falls.

Marzo 1848
Por primera vez en la historia registrada, las cataratas se secan debido a los fuertes vientos del oeste que mantienen el agua en el lago Erie, además de un atasco de hielo que presa el río y el agua cerca de Buffalo, Nueva York. La gente del pueblo explora felizmente el lecho del río y el borde de las cataratas, encontrando, entre otras cosas, reliquias de la Guerra de 1812.

Julio 1848
Bajo la dirección del ingeniero Charles Ellet, se completa el primer puente de servicio que cruza el desfiladero del Niágara. Siete años después, John Roebling completa otro puente colgante, con dos niveles para el tráfico ferroviario y de carruajes. Es el primer puente colgante suspendido por cables de alambre para soportar el peso de un tren.

Mayo de 1857
Ampliamente considerada como la primera pintura que captura adecuadamente la belleza y el poder de las Cataratas del Niágara, Frederick Church muestra su obra maestra del paisaje, The Great Fall, Niagara por primera vez en la ciudad de Nueva York.

Verano 1859
Jean Francois Gravelet, conocido como & # x201CThe Great Blondin & # x201D, comienza una famosa serie de caminatas por la cuerda floja a través del desfiladero del Niágara, sobre los rápidos a una milla río abajo de las cataratas. El acto atrae a multitudes de hasta 25.000 personas. Blondin incluso se las arregla para llevar a su gerente por encima de la cuerda en su espalda.

15 de julio de 1885
Se abre el Parque Estatal Niagara Reservation, que atrae a 750.000 visitantes. Es el primer parque estatal establecido en los Estados Unidos.

11 de julio de 1920
Charles Stephens, el primer hombre & # x2014pero la segunda persona & # x2014 en pasar por las cataratas, se zambulle en un barril de roble de 600 libras. La fuerza del agua destroza el barril y Stephens muere. Su brazo derecho es la única parte de él que se recupera.

9 de julio de 1960
Un niño de siete años llamado Roger Woodward es arrastrado por las cataratas después de un accidente de bote. Sobrevive con heridas leves y es rescatado por la Doncella de la Niebla. Es la primera persona conocida que atraviesa las cataratas sin ningún tipo de protección y sobrevive.


Impulsado por aguas turbulentas

A medida que el siglo XIX se acercaba a su fin, los industriales vieron que las aguas turbulentas tenían mucho valor fuera del turismo. Si la fuerza de la corriente de las Cataratas del Niágara y rsquo pudiera controlarse, podría usarse para alimentar molinos y fábricas cercanas.

Cada vez más mentes innovadoras y emprendedoras se sumaron a la idea y comenzaron a realizar pruebas. Con eso, 1895 vio la creación del primer sistema de generación hidroeléctrica del mundo. Una serie de fábricas comenzaron a aparecer alrededor de las cataratas. Un hombre en particular se dio cuenta y se preguntó cómo se podría mejorar la situación. Entró en escena y llevó las cosas al siguiente nivel.


Congelación de las cataratas

Solo ha habido un caso en el que el flujo de las Cataratas del Niágara se detuvo debido a una congelación que ocurrió el 29 de marzo de 1848. Después de un invierno extremadamente frío, el espeso hielo del lago Erie comenzó a romperse durante un período de clima cálido que había sucedido en marzo. Seguido por un fuerte viento hacia el este, esto provocó que se formara hielo en la desembocadura del río Niágara, lo que provocó un bloqueo del flujo de agua hacia las cataratas Horseshoe.

Cuando el agua cae sobre las cataratas hacia las rocas que se encuentran debajo, hace que se solidifique y forme lo que se conoce como & ldquoThe Ice Bridge & rdquo que conecta el lado estadounidense con el lado canadiense. Hace muchos años, el Puente de Hielo era una atracción turística popular, ya que los visitantes se reunían en el puente y admiraban la belleza que había creado el clima frío del invierno. Tanto los visitantes canadienses como los estadounidenses se reunían en el puente donde podían disfrutar de alimentos y bebidas frescos mientras algunos empresarios instalaban puestos de concesión para los visitantes durante estos tiempos fríos. Eso fue todo hasta que ocurrió un desafortunado desastre el 4 de febrero de 1912, donde el puente se rompió y provocó que tres personas se desplazaran río abajo hasta la muerte. Desde que ocurrió este incidente está prohibido caminar sobre el Puente de Hielo.

Durante la mayoría de los inviernos, se sabe que las cataratas se congelan parcialmente, aunque las cataratas nunca se congelan por completo en la cascada o en el río Niágara. Los años notables para que las cataratas muestren una gran exhibición de glaseado incluyen los años 1985, 1902, 1906, 1911, 1932, 1936, 2014 y 2017. La ilusión de que las cataratas se congelan por completo se debe a la parte exterior de las cataratas. creando una acumulación de hielo, pero debajo de esa capa exterior el agua fluye continuamente por las cataratas a un ritmo constante.


Una historia temeraria de las cataratas del Niágara

1678
El monje y explorador franciscano Louis Hennepin se convierte en el primer explorador europeo en encontrar las Cataratas del Niágara. Impresionado, Hennepin estima que las cataratas tienen una altura increíble de 600 pies, aunque en realidad se elevan 170 pies.

Verano 1859
Jean Fran & # xE7ois Gravelet-Blondin, conocido como & # x201CGreat Blondin, & # x201D comienza una famosa serie de caminatas por la cuerda floja a través del desfiladero del Niágara. El acto atrae a multitudes de hasta 25.000 personas. Blondin cruza de formas cada vez más difíciles, en bicicleta, empujando una carretilla e incluso con las manos y piernas encadenadas. Su travesía más difícil se produce el 19 de agosto, cuando logra llevar a su mánager por encima de la cuerda a la espalda.

La equilibrista italiana Maria Spelterini cruza las Cataratas del Niágara en julio de 1876.

1867
Maria Spelterina, una mujer italiana de 23 años, se convierte en la única mujer en cruzar el desfiladero por la cuerda floja. Buscando agregar algo de dramatismo a los eventos, cruza el Niágara usando cestas tejidas en lugar de zapatos y con la cabeza cubierta por una bolsa de papel.

15 de julio de 1885
Se abre el Parque Estatal Niagara Reservation, que atrae a 750.000 visitantes. Es el primer parque estatal establecido en los Estados Unidos.

1887
Veinte años después del último cruce, las Cataratas del Niágara reclaman su primera & # x2014 y única & # x2014 víctima en la cuerda floja cuando se descubre el cuerpo de Stephen Peer, un nativo de Ontario. Solo unos días antes, Peer había realizado varios viajes con éxito y las autoridades determinan que murió después de un intento fallido de cruzar por la noche.

6 de septiembre de 1890
Tres años después de la muerte de Peer & # x2019s, Samuel Dixon usa el mismo cable que Peer para hacer varios cruces exitosos mientras realiza una variedad de acrobacias.

12 de octubre de 1892
Toronto & # x2019s Clifford Calverly establece el récord del cruce más rápido a través del desfiladero. Se abre paso a través de un cable de acero de 3/4 de pulgada en solo 6 minutos, 33,5 segundos.

Julio 1896
James Hardy, de 21 años, completa el último cruce de la cuerda floja en más de 115 años.

24 de octubre de 1901
Annie Edison Taylor, no solo la primera mujer en pasar por encima de las cataratas del Niágara en un barril, es una viuda pobre cuando llega a las cataratas del Niágara en 1901. La mujer de 63 años (que dice tener 42) ve el truco como una forma de ganar dinero. Después de contratar a un gerente, desafía las cataratas en un barril que ella misma diseña. Ella sobrevive, pero & # x201C la heroína de Horseshoe Falls & # x201D no & # x2019t termina con la ganancia financiera inesperada que espera. Trabaja como vendedora ambulante de Niagara durante 20 años y muere sin un centavo.

11 de julio de 1920
Charles Stephens, el segundo hombre en pasar por las cataratas, se lanza a un barril de roble de 600 libras. La fuerza del agua destroza el barril y Stephens muere. Su brazo derecho es la única parte de él que se recupera.

4 de julio de 1928
Jean Lussier pasa por encima de las cataratas dentro de una pelota de goma de 6 pies forrada con tubos de goma llenos de oxígeno. Sobrevive y luego gana dinero extra vendiendo piezas de la pelota y tubos de goma # x2019s.

4 de julio de 1930
El aventurero George Stathakis recorre las cataratas en un barril de madera de 10 pies y 1 tonelada. Lamentablemente, sin embargo, el barril de Stathakis & # x2019 queda atrapado detrás de las cataratas durante 14 horas. Con solo aire suficiente para vivir durante tres horas, Stathakis muere antes de ser rescatado, pero su tortuga mascota de 105 años, Sonny Boy, sobrevive al viaje.

5 de agosto de 1951
Red Hill Jr. desafía a Horseshoe Falls en lo que él llama & # x201C la cosa & # x201D, una balsa de construcción endeble hecha de 13 cámaras de aire atadas con una cuerda y encerradas en una red de pesca. Poco después de su zambullida, las cámaras de aire de la balsa y # x2019 comienzan a aparecer en la superficie del río, pero no hay señales de Hill. Su cuerpo magullado no se recupera hasta el día siguiente.

27 de septiembre de 1989
Los canadienses Peter DeBernardi y Geoffrey Petkovich se convierten en el primer equipo en cruzar las cataratas juntos, encerrados cara a cara en un solo barril. Sobreviven con heridas leves.

5 de junio de 1990
Jessie Sharp, que espera avanzar en su carrera como especialista al cruzar las Cataratas del Niágara, intenta la hazaña en un kayak de aguas bravas sin casco ni chaleco salvavidas. Su cuerpo nunca se recupera.

1 de octubre de 1995
Robert Overacker intenta cruzar las cataratas en una moto de agua. La decimoquinta persona desde 1901 en intentar la hazaña, no sobrevive.

18 de junio de 1995
Steven Trotter y Lori Martin se convierten en el primer hombre y mujer en cruzar las cataratas juntos en un barril. Desde entonces, el organismo regulador que gobierna las cataratas, la Comisión de Parques del Niágara (NPC), se ha negado a emitir permisos para acrobacias. La primera excepción se ha concedido al temerario Nik Wallenda. En el futuro, el NPC planea emitir permisos solo & # x201Conce en una generación, & # x201D o aproximadamente cada 20 años.


Historia de las Cataratas del Niágara

La historia de las Cataratas del Niágara es rica en patrimonio y hechos interesantes, desde temerarios que han intentado enfrentarse a las poderosas Cataratas hasta inventores electrizantes como Nikola Tesla, mejor conocido por sus contribuciones al diseño del moderno sistema de suministro de electricidad de corriente alterna.

Las Cataratas del Niágara se formaron hace más de 12.000 años al final de la Edad de Hielo, cuando se liberaron grandes torrentes de agua del deshielo, que desembocaron en el río Niágara. El agua se precipitó sobre el borde de la escarpa del Niágara y llegó a lo que ahora se conoce como Lewiston, Nueva York. Finalmente, la fuerza del agua desgastó las capas de roca y las Cataratas del Niágara se movieron río arriba, alcanzando su ubicación actual. Año tras año, la formación continúa con la congelación y el deshielo anual del río Niágara, junto con la erosión gradual y la caída periódica de rocas. Se han completado los trabajos de reparación para preservar las cataratas y se ha reducido el volumen de agua mediante el desvío hacia la energía hidroeléctrica.

Los nativos americanos que viven en la región fueron probablemente las primeras personas en contemplar el poder de las Cataratas del Niágara. Después de eso, las cataratas del Niágara fueron descubiertas por el explorador francés, el padre Louis Hennepin en diciembre de 1678. La región pronto se convirtió en un bastión francés, ya que se construyeron fuertes en la desembocadura del río Niágara, controlando el acceso a los Grandes Lagos. El fuerte fue restaurado entre 1926 y 1934 y ahora es el Old Fort Niagara & ndash, una fortaleza del siglo XVIII que ofrece programación diaria que incluye recreaciones en vivo y demostraciones durante todo el año.

No solo las cataratas son poderosas, sino que la ciudad de Niágara fue el lugar de nacimiento de la energía hidroeléctrica. En 1896, Nikola Tesla desarrolló el sistema de corriente alterna, que permitió la transmisión de la energía generada a lo largo del río Niágara a hogares y negocios. El Niagara Gorge Discovery Center está ubicado sobre el sitio de la central eléctrica Schoellkopf, desde la cual se vendió por primera vez la electricidad como un producto básico. Hoy en día, las centrales eléctricas del lado estadounidense y canadiense de las cataratas producen casi 2,5 millones de kilovatios de electricidad. Encienda y explore más en NYPA y ndash Niagara Power Vista, donde le espera la exploración científica con tecnologías interactivas prácticas, un teatro 4D multisensorial y más.


Niagara Falls AFS-3 - Historia

un historial de accidentes graves, rescates y tragedias

16 de julio de 1853 - tres hombres que trabajaban en una barcaza de dragado que estaba anclada en el río Niágara al este de la isla Goat decidieron ir a la costa durante la tarde. La única forma de llegar a la orilla era mediante el uso de un bote de remos. Cuando los tres hombres empezaron a remar hacia la orilla, pronto descubrieron que la corriente del agua era mucho más fuerte de lo que habían anticipado. De repente, uno de sus remos se rompió. El pequeño bote de remos entró en los rápidos del American Channel y se dirigió río abajo. El bote de remos zozobró. Dos de los hombres murieron arrastrados al borde de las cataratas americanas. El tercer hombre, Samuel Avery, pudo agarrarse a algunas raíces de árboles que crecían de una roca al este de la isla Chapin. Avery pasó la noche varado en el agua fría y veloz. El sonido de los rápidos impidió que se escucharan los gritos de Avery pidiendo ayuda.

A la mañana siguiente, varios turistas observaron la difícil situación de Avery. Comenzaron los esfuerzos para rescatar a Avery. Initial efforts consisted of releasing boats and raft from the Bath Island Bridge. None of the craft were able to reach Avery. Finally a boat which was tethered to the Bath Island Bridge was guided downstream and reached Samuel Avery. With little strength left, Avery was able to climb into the boat but the boat immediately capsized throwing Avery back into the turbulent waters. Throwing his hands up in surrender, Avery let out a final scream, fell backwards into the water and was swept to his death over the American Falls

February 4th 1912 - by noon on Sunday, approximately 35 persons were standing on the ice bridge which had formed covering the Niagara River below the Falls each winter. This ice bridge was huge, thick and solid, allowing people to cross the entire width of the Niagara River from Canada to the USA on the surface of the ice rather than using the International Bridges located downstream. Two such persons on this ice bridge were Eldridge Stanton, age 32 and his wife Clara Stanton, age 28, both of Toronto, Ontario. The Stanton's had been married for six years and had come to Niagara Falls twice each year once in summer and once in winter since being married. They had arrived in Niagara Falls on Friday for a winter weekend visit. They strolled hand in hand as they crossed the ice field.

Also on the ice bridge were Ignatius Roth age 17 and Burrell Hecock, age 17, both of Cleveland, Ohio. William "Red" Hill was opening the little refreshment stand he built every year as soon as the ice was thick enough. With him were Monroe Gilbert and William Lablond.

Hecock and Roth were throwing snowballs and playing leapfrog.

Hill suddenly felt a small tremor under his feet. At the same time came a loud groaning sound from the base of the Falls which could be heard over the roar of the distant Falls. Immediately Hill recognized the danger and began running towards the Canadian shore as he shouted for the others to follow him. Lablond, Gilbert and the boys followed Hill. Mr. and Mrs. Stanton turned back towards the American shore.

The ice bridge began heaving up and down as the grinding noises became louder. The ice had began breaking apart. As the Stanton's ran towards the shore, they suddenly stopped a stones-throw width away as the ice separated from the shore and water appeared where the ice once was. As the gap began to widen, the Stanton's were frozen in place by shock for a second before turning and racing for the Canadian shore. As they ran, Clara Stanton began to slow and stumbled to the ice from exhaustion within 50 feet of the Canadian shoreline. Eldridge Stanton tried unsuccessfully to lift his wife. The ice field on which they were standing began to move. Stanton grabbed his wife and tried dragging her as he shouted for help from the men ahead.

Lablond was in waist deep icy water and with the assistance of Hill they pulled Roth to shore and shouted for Hecock to jump to safety. Hecock heard the cries for help from Stanton and turned around. Hecock rushed toward the Stanton's in a desperate attempt to save them. Hecock reached the Stanton's and helped Eldridge lift his wife to her feet. Together they tried to get Clara to shore but the gap between the ice and shore was quickly widening. The three were now stranded as the ice bridge flowed ever quickly downstream.

The ice sheet was swinging wildly. On this ice sheet, the Stanton's and Hecock paced back and forth. Hecock and Eldridge were seen talking while Clara stood holding her husband's hand. As they passed beneath the first of three bridges spanning the Niagara Gorge, the ice sheet seemed to edge towards the American shore. Directly downstream, a hydro-electric station was discharging water into the river. The pressure from this discharge crumbled the nearest edge of the ice forcing the three to the opposite side.

The giant ice sheet broke into two pieces. One half drifted towards the American shore while the other half on which Hecock and the Stanton's stood remained in mid-stream. The first half grounded out against the American shoreline. On each of the two lower bridges located three hundred yards apart, firemen, policemen and railway workers had stationed themselves in order to lower ropes to those stranded as the passed underneath.

Stanton was seen to place his arm around the waist of his wife. About a quarter mile above the rapids, the ice sheet broke in half again, this time separating the Stanton's from Hecock. Hecock waved and shouted something. Stanton returned the salute. Clara crouched down beside her husband. The river current was becoming faster as it neared the rapids.

Hecock's ice sheet remained in mid-stream. Hecock took off his coat in preparation of attempting to grab one of the dangling ropes. As he passed beneath the bridge, Hecock grabbed one of the ropes and swung free of the ice flow he was riding on. Hecock was plunged waist deep into the water as his rescuers attempted to lift him. As he was hoisted 60 feet above the water Hecock lost his grip of the rope and fell into the raging river below. Entering the rapids, Hecock was never seen again.

The Stanton's had watched Hecock's valiant attempts. As the flow swirled under the cantilever bridge, Stanton quickly grabbed the nearest rope and looped it around his wife's waist. As the flow continued and the rope became taunt, it broke. Stanton grabbed another rope as they passed underneath the Lower Bridge. He quickly tied the rope again around his wife's waist but changed his mind and untied the rope, knowing it would be futile. Stanton took his wife in his arms, kissed her and let her down. They both knelt together with his arms around her. The flow remained intact until it reached the giant wave in the rapids and spilled over throwing both into the raging water to their deaths.

August 6th 1918 -

At about 3 p.m. on the afternoon of Tuesday August 6th 1918, a steel sand scow (barge) was engaged in dredging operation in the fast currents on the American side of the Niagara River opposite Port Day at the entrance of the Niagara Falls Power Company hydraulic canal. The scow was being towed by the tug boat - "Hassayampa" being operated by Captain John Wallace. The scow had two deck hands aboard. They were Gustave Loftberg, age 51 and Frank Harris, age 53. The tug and scow were owned and operated by the Great Lakes Dredge and Docks Company. During the operation, the tug suddenly struck a sandbar approximately a mile upriver from the Falls. The taunt rope that held the barge to the tug snapped "like a thin string".

T he powerless and empty barge quickly drifted out of control into the Canadian channel and towards the Horseshoe Falls. Loftberg and Harris were helpless and could do nothing to stop the scow. They were seen trying to slow the swift progress of the scow with the use of makeshift oars but with no success. Although some reports indicate that, they opened the two holes in the bottom of the scow to allow water to enter the barge, they simply had no time. Loftberg and Harris could only hope and pray for a miracle as they faced to see rising mist of the great Horseshoe Falls growing closer by the second. The roar of the Falls echoed in their ears. In a twist of fate, the scow became grounded and became lodged on a rock shoal at 2,500 feet (767m) upriver from the Horseshoe Falls in the shallow but fast moving cascades.

The alarm that the sand scow was being swept towards the Falls with two deck hands aboard spread throughout Niagara Falls, New York and the towns on the Canadian side. Hundreds of people crowded the buildings that lined the shore and the riverbanks to watch the human helplessness and the scow's progress. When the scow grounded it electrified everyone. Hundreds of men made for the point on the Canadian shore nearest the ledge.

Employees of the Toronto Power Company who had watched the scow drifting in the river from the roof of the company building rushed to telephones. Calls were sent to the fire departments in Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario and to the Life Saving Station in Youngstown, New York.

Benjamin Hall of Pennsylvania Street in Niagara Falls, New York witnessed the barge careening out of control through the rapids until it ground in mid stream just off the head of the island. At the urging of Mr. Hall, the Youngstown Life Savers ( United States Coast Guard) were sent for.

Loftberg and Harris began ripping huge timbers from the inside of the barge and were seen throwing some overboard. They were actually building a makeshift windlass (a winch device) in hopes that if a rope line from shore could somehow reach them they would be able to secure the line to the barge in order to hopefully prevent the barge from becoming dislodged and moving any closer to the Falls. A bungled haul would mean the dislodging of the scow.

With sheer determination and with their very lives at stake, Loftberg and Harris completed building the clumsy windlass. The two stranded men could now only wait.

While awaiting rescue, Loftberg, thinking safety tied himself to the barge. Harris, on the other hand tied a rope around himself with the other end tied to a barrel. Harris thought that if the barge broke free, he could jump clear and hope that the barrel got caught up on more rocks.

A rescue boat could not be utilized to rescue the two men because of the distance, the turbulence of the rapids and the proximity to the Horseshoe Falls.

The Niagara Falls Fire Department was the first to arrive at the Power Company Building. They brought with them a small life saving gun. It was carried to the roof of the building. Chief A. H. Newman discharged the gun. The rope rolled out towards the barge. It spun out about 300 feet (91.4m) before falling into the river. A second attempt was made but with the same result. In the meantime an army truck bearing five men from the Life Saving Station in Youngstown and their equipment including a larger gun and longer ropes. The five men were on their way from Fort Niagara at best speed driven by Private Fred Daubney. The truck made the 25 mile trip in 35 minutes.

When the men from the Life Saving Station arrived with a gun capable of firing a lifeline to the scow, they mounted their gun on the roof of the Toronto Power House. The first shot to the scow with a light weight rope was successful shot over the barge. Loftberg and Harris grabbed the rope and began the process of pulling it aboard and connecting it to the windlass. In the meantime, the rescuers tied a much heavier rope to the end of the first rope. Loftberg and Harris began the long struggle of winding the rope in from the power house to the scow. The weight of the heavy rope was being carried downriver by the torrent of water and threatened in itself to dislodge the barge. At a time more than a hundred men on shore were needed to pulled the rope taunt in order to prevent this from happening.

After many hours of labor under terrifying conditions, Loftberg and Harris were able to bring the heavy rope aboard the barge and secure it to the windlass. By this time darkness had arrived.

With nightfall, huge searchlights were erected and trained on the scow and rescue rope. A breeches buoy (a chair like attachment) followed the line but became snarled half way across.

At 3 a.m. on Wednesday August 7th, Red Hill Sr. went out hand over hand along the rope as his body was tugged by the current of the rapids. Red Hill Sr. reached the tangled breech buoy and worked for hours until he was able to untangle it in order to allow the rescue.

With the arrival of dawn, thousands of people crowded the shoreline watching this drama unfold. At 8:30 a.m., Red Hill journeyed out again. This time Hill got within 130 feet (40m) from the scow. From here, he was able to talk to Loftberg and Harris. Hill discovered that one of the small coils of rope on the scow was wound around the big rope from the breeches-buoy, preventing the buoy from getting closer to the scow. Hill tried to shout directions to Loftberg and Harris but both had become so weak that they had difficulty untangling the rope. With Hill giving instructions and the persistence of both crew members, the rope was finally untangled. Hill returned to the roof of the Toronto Power House.

With Charles Possert and Thomas Darrington, both riggers from the Toronto Power Company working the lines, Hill was able to make his way to the stranded scow. Harris, suffering from hunger and exposure was the first removed from the scow to safety. Loftberg followed. It was 10 a.m. by the time Loftberg was brought safely to shore.

William "Red" Hill Sr. was awarded a Carnegie Life Saving Medal for his heroic efforts. The crew of the scow had been rescued without any loss of life.

May 1st 1950 - Two test pilots crawled out of a helicopter which crashed into the Niagara River approximately 300 yards upriver from the brink of the Horseshoe Falls. This helicopter crashed during a rescue attempt to save a woman who had become stranded in the Niagara River approximately 75 feet from the shoreline of Goat Island. The two airmen and the woman were subsequently rescued by boat.

May 14th 1950 - a woman was reported clinging to rocks approximately 75 feet from the Goat Island shoreline in the upper Niagara River approximately 300 yards above the Horseshoe Falls. The woman was identified as Jeanette Bugay, age 25 of Niagara Falls, New York. How Mrs. Bugay came to be stranded was a puzzle which was never solved. Mrs. Bugay had been reported missing by her husband the day before this incident unfolded.

A pontoon equipped Bell 47D1 helicopter from Bell Aerospace Company in Niagara Fall, New York with two test pilots responded to this emergency. Pilot, Owen Niehaus, age 28 of Grand Island, New York and Co-pilot, Joseph Cannon, age 30 of Niagara Falls, New York arrived a short time later.

Hovering over the stranded woman, they attempted an aerial rescue of this woman. With the right side pontoon gingerly resting on a protruding rock, Cannon left the aircraft compartment and crawled onto this pontoon.

While standing on the pontoon and using an attached winch, Cannon was able to tie a rope around the hysterical woman's waist. The sudden movement of Cannon caused the nose of the helicopter to dip into the water. As Niehaus struggled to counter balance the helicopter, a wave struck the pontoon, forcing the tail rotor into the water and crashing onto some rocks. Cannon scrambled back into the cockpit as the helicopter flipped over onto its side a few feet away from the woman. Niehaus and Cannon were able to crawl out of the cockpit and onto the exposed pontoon. The woman who was held in place by the rope was lifted onto the pontoon by Cannon.

Firemen and policemen tried to guide an aluminum boat more than 100 yards downstream from the western tip of the Three Sister Islands however this was unsuccessful. A second helicopter called to the scene when rescue teams were unable to assist those stranded. The second Bell Aerospace helicopter, piloted by William Gallagher, age 29 and co-pilot George White, age 40 dropped a line to one of the stranded air crew. The helicopter then dropped the other end of the rope to the rescue teams on shore. The boat was attached to the second line which was stretched between the shore and the stranded victims. With several volunteers aboard the boat the boat was ferried across the rapids to the victims in a breeches buoy fashion. The boat was hand was guided to the rock. The three victims were able to climb aboard the boat and were pulled to safety over several trips.

According to my Dad he and the woman came over in the first trip of that boat, and Joe Cannon came over to land on the second trip. Owen never mentioned anyone from shore coming out to the helicopter, so I'm pretty sure it was just the folks from the craft in that boat during the two trips, no one else. Also, my dad said that the helicopter flipped upside down. He almost drowned while attempting to release his seat belt. They weren't quick release seat belts like they are today, and with his weight hanging down on it with him upside down it was extremely difficult to get open. Fortunately he succeeded! - Christine Niehaus (daughter) June 22nd 2010

The three victims were taken to St. Mary's Hospital suffering from shock, minor cuts and bruises. They were later released.

The three passenger Bell helicopter which was valued at $25,000 was subsequently salvaged.

June 7th 1956 - Jacob Schoellkopf built his second power plant directly in front of the original plant in 1895. The sides of the gorge were walled in. Behind the walls shafts carried water down the 210 feet to the turbines located just above the water level. Behind these shafts and rear walls of the new plant were old cuts in the rock face which were used during the era of the belt and shaft drive technology. Over the years, water seeping behind the wall had undermined the rock face of the gorge behind the plant.

On the morning of June 7th 1956, workers noticed water seeping into the plant from the back wall. By mid afternoon, the cracks in the rear wall were widening while 40 men worked with sandbags to stem the flow of water.

At 5:00 p.m., the Schoellkopf Power Station sustained a catastrophic collapse which destroyed two-thirds (2/3) of the plant. Six generators capable of producing 322,500 horsepower had been demolished. Damage was estimated at $100 million dollars. The most devastating was the sudden loss of 400,000 kilowatts of power from the power grid.

Suddenly a loud rumble was heard from behind the wall and the wall began to collapse. One of the workers died. Employee, Richard Draper, age 39 of Lewiston was killed. The rest escaped unscathed. The entire southern portion of the plant collapsed into the river below. As the generators blew apart, some debris was propelled to the Canadian side of the gorge.

December 1st 1961 - a U.S. Air Force F-100 Super Sabre Jet crashed and exploded in the Niagara River Gorge, narrowly missing forty workmen on the Queenston - Lewiston Steel Arch Bridge. Pilot Lt. Edward Metlot of New York City ejected from the jet before the crash and landed along the American shoreline.

July 9th 1960 - a seven year old boy named Roger Woodward became the first person to survive a plunge over the Falls without a barrel. Woodward and his 17 year old sister Deanne, both of Niagara Falls, New York set out that day on a harmless boat ride on the upper Niagara River with family friend James Honeycutt.

Honeycutt , age 40 years, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was a contractor at the Niagara Parks Commission hydro project. He had often taken the Woodward children out for a boat ride on his fourteen foot long aluminum boat with a seven and a half horsepower outboard motor. Mr. & Mrs. Frank Woodward trusted Honeycutt completely.

Honeycutt and the Woodward children began the boat ride about five miles upstream of the Falls where Honeycutt was living in a house trailer at the Lynch Trailer camp along the American shoreline.Approximately one mile upstream of the Horseshoe Falls, Honeycutt began to turn the boat in the opposite direction when the boat motor malfunctioned and quit running. On examining the engine, Honeycutt discovered that the propeller pin had sheared off. Honeycutt began rowing frantically towards the shore but the current was carrying the boat ever so quickly towards the Falls. Honeycutt ordered the Woodward children to put on their life-preservers. Honeycutt was too busy rowing to have time to put his life-preserver on.

Near the Falls the waves capsized the boat separating Deanne from her brother Roger and Mr. Honeycutt. Deanne held onto the side of the boat until a wave forced her under water. When she surfaced, she saw two men standing on the shore. John Hayes, age 44 years, a truck driver from Voxhall, New Jersey was visiting Terrapin Point on Goat Island when he saw Deanne in the water. Hayes grabbed Deanne by her fingers and called for help. John Quattrochi, age 39 years, a tourist from Pennsgrove, New Jersey came to help Hayes. Both men successfully pulled Deanne from the water.

Roger Woodward was in Honeycutt's arms as they approached the Horseshoe Falls. The raging water pulled them apart as they rode over the crest of the Falls. Roger Woodward was wearing swimming trunks and a pair of running shoes. The shoes were ripped from his feet on his way down the cascade. Woodward was forced into the 180 foot deep water at the base of the Falls but was quickly freed where he floated to the surface. It was 12:55 p.m., when the crew of the Maid of the Mist spotted tiny Roger Woodward bobbing up and down in the water. Captain Clifford Keech was at the wheel of the 270 foot long Maid of the Mist II. After eight minutes and three approaches to rescue Roger Woodward by using a life ring.Roger Woodward was taken to the Greater Niagara General Hospital in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He sustained only minor cuts and bruises. Deanne Woodward was taken to Memorial Hospital in Niagara Falls, New York suffering from nothing more than shock.

James Honeycutt was battered and drowned.

February 11th 1963 - a light airplane crashes in a field above Dufferin Islands approximately 300 yards from the Niagara River. Four American men were killed instantly. The men, from Niagara Falls, New York had taken off at 10 a.m. from the St. Catharines - Niagara District Airport in a single engine Piper Tri-Pacer aircraft only a short time before crashing. The crash was subsequently determined to have been caused by structural failure of the main spar of the left wing.

April 24th 1966 - the Ontario Hydro icebreaker "Niagara Queen" with a crew of three men operating on the upper Niagara River in a blinding fog ran aground on a shoal near Tower Island (end of the International Water Control Dam). In order to rescue the icebreaker and it's crew, a twelve passenger Sikorski helicopter was brought in to drop a lifeline to the stranded boat. The Niagara Queen was then able to be towed to safety by an American icebreaker employed by the New York State Power Authority.

August 5th 1969 - an American sightseeing helicopter of Prior Aviation operating from Goat Island crashed at 3:40 p.m. into the upper Niagara River approximately 180 feet above the hydro control dam.

The pilot and two passengers were killed. The pilot was identified as Edward Horning, age 30 of East Aurora New York. The dead passengers were Louis Episcopo, age 53 and his companion Fillomena Pescatore, age 56, both from New Jersey.

Following the crash, the bodies of both passengers floated free from the wreckage and were swept downstream. The mangled helicopter containing the body of Horning was swept through one of the hydro control dam gates before grounding approximately 100 yards downstream, approximately 50 feet from the Canadian shore in 7 feet of calm water.

Two Bell Aerospace test pilots: Richard Carlin and Ernest Panapinto responded to an emergency call. They were able to swim out to the wreckage and recover the body of Horning. The body of Pescatore was immediately recovered from the river along the shoreline by Ontario Hydro employees. The body of Episcopo was recovered several days later at the base of the Horseshoe Falls.

The cause of the crash was attributed to engine failure brought on by fuel starvation (no/low gas). Witnesses reported that the doomed helicopter was only 200 feet above the surface of the Niagara River when its engine quit functioning. Witnesses saw Horning who appeared to be struggling to control the helicopter while the passengers appeared to be bracing themselves for a crash-landing.

Edward Horning was an experienced pilot with over 2,400 hours flying time as a pilot in the U.S. Navy.

July 26th 1972 - at 10:30 a.m., six passengers and two crew members riding on a thirty-five foot long nylon and rubber raft were thrown into the wild churning waters of the Whirlpool Rapids after hitting a rogue wave. The raft overturned throwing the eight people into the water. The Whirlpool Rapids attains a speed of approximately thirty miles per hour. All passengers and crew were wearing life preservers were whisked into the Whirlpool at the end of the rapids where they were rescued by a second raft which was followed the first through the rapids. Both rafts had been outfitted with 25 horsepower outboard motors but were no match for the mighty rapids. Trial runs through the rapids on May 23rd and May 25th satisfied the owners that the motors had sufficient power to control the raft. The rafts were owned by Niagara White Water Tours, a company formed George Grider and William Wendell, both executives of the Carborundum Company of Niagara Falls, New York The company was planning regular five mile raft trips through the Niagara River rapids to Lewiston, New York.

October 7th 1973 - at 3:30 p.m., four people were in a boat on the upper Niagara River approximately 200 yards from the Goat Island shoreline when the outboard motor struck a rock and quit functioning. The boat drifted towards the Horseshoe Falls. The three adults climbed out of the boat and stood in the shallow rapids as the boat continued over the Falls. The adult female was holding an infant in her arms. They were identified as Lee Switzer, Jerry Land, Joanne Horn and her 18 month old infant son. They remained stranded until help arrived.

In an attempt to effect a rescue, a sightseeing helicopter piloted by Dale Hartman and carrying two police officers: Sergeant Joseph Boyd and Officer James MacNeil attempted an aerial rescue. As the helicopter hovered above those stranded, the policemen crawled out of the cockpit onto the landing skids in an attempt to effect the rescue. One of the stranded men grabbed onto one of the struts causing the helicopter to tilt onto its side allowing the main rotor to strike the water. The helicopter burst into flames. Miraculously no one was seriously injured. Now the lives of eight persons were in jeopardy as they remained stranded.

The New York State Parks Police dispatched their boat with three police officers. Sergeant Lyse Newberry, Lieutenant Joseph DeMarco and Officer Anthony Larratta in a second rescue attempt, piloted a police boat into the rapids but immediately became stranded when the propeller of their outboard motor broke. Larratta and DeMarco jumped out of the boat and swam through the strong current to the stranded helicopter. Sergeant Newberry was swept down river in the boat to within one thousand feet of the brink of the Falls before jumping for his life. Newberry was able to grab a hold of a tree extending from Solon Island. Other officers forming a human chain pulled him to shore. Nearly two and a half hours after being stranded, the nine stranded people were able to walk to shore after safety ropes were sent to them by using a breeches buoy type gun. Ultimately everyone was rescued with little or no injury.

August 29th 1975 - a thirty-seven foot long air inflated rubber and nylon raft belonging to Niagara Gorge River Trips Inc. (owned by George Butterfield of Toronto) carrying twenty-seven tourist and two pilots capsized in the Whirlpool Rapids throwing everyone into the wild churning white water. Three passengers died from drowning. Twenty-six survived this ordeal. The accident occurred during the 11th trial run of this raft tour through the Niagara River rapids. The raft had departed from the Maid of the Mist dock at the base of the Prospect Point Tower and was about two mile downstream of a five mile route to Lewiston, New York. The three dead persons were identified as: Julia Martinez, age 30 of Toronto David Ross, age 37 of Toronto and Anthony Sawczyk, age 24 of Niagara Falls, New York. Three of the survivors were admitted to the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center with serious injuries. Each of the passengers had paid fee of $20 for this journey. The youngest passenger was 16 years old and the oldest was 52 years old. Four of the passengers were women.

To further add to this tragedy, one man, piloting a 22 foot - 250 horsepower jet boat died of a heart attack while attempting to recover this raft from the Whirlpool

Niagara Gorge River Trips Inc. was the predecessor of the now defunct White Water Tour Company which pioneered white water rafting in the Niagara River with near tragic consequences. In July of 1972, during a trail run, six passengers were thrown into the water of the Whirlpool Rapids. On August 5th 1972, during its maiden commercial voyage, a pontoon broke away from the raft and a passenger was plunged into the rapids. On August 13th 1972, seven people riding through the Whirlpool Rapids were thrown overboard. Luckily no fatalities were reported. The company ceased operations on August 13th 1972.

January 10th 1978 - an equipment barge drifted away from a plant in Tonawanda, New York. The barge drifted downstream becoming grounded approximately 200 yards above the Horseshoe Falls. The barge owners, Simms and Associates were able to salvage the barge.

May 31st 1989 - a sightseeing helicopter owned and operated by Rainbow Helicopters of Niagara Falls, New York took off from its heliport adjacent to the Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge near the Rainbow Bridge. Pilot Mark David Felderstein, age 25 was flying with three passengers aboard: Louis Clements , age 47 of the State of Georgia and his wife , Mildred Clements, age 45 of Brockton, Massachusetts and their daughter Lisa Clements, age 24 of Quincy, Massachusetts. As Felderstein piloted his aircraft northward along the length of the Niagara Gorge, the helicopter's landing rails on its undercarriage struck the wire cables of the Spanish Aero Car which extend across the entire width of the Whirlpool.

The landing rails on the helicopter were torn away. The helicopter narrowly missed colliding with the Aero Car which was crossing the Whirlpool at the time and carrying 17 persons. None of the Aero Car occupants were injured. The Aero Car cables remained intact and sustained no substantive damage.

Narrowly escaping one catastrophic event, Felderstein and his passengers were facing a crash landing without landing gear. Felderstein was able to control the helicopter and maneuvered it to the 10th hole of the Whirlpool Gold Course adjacent to the Whirlpool.

In order to ensure the safety of his passengers and fearing the helicopter would roll over upon landing, Felderstein hovered his helicopter several feet off the ground at full power. On the instructions of Felderstein, the three passengers were able to jump to the ground from the stricken aircraft and run to a safe distance to the front before Felderstein attempted this dangerous landing.

Mark Felderstein gently lowered his helicopter onto the golf course to a safe landing with no injuries to he or his passengers and with minimal damage to the aircraft.

Although there was much to be said about the low level flight of this helicopter, regulations at that time allowed for a minimum height of only 500 feet over undeveloped areas such as the Niagara River gorge.

September 29th 1992 - on Tuesday at 12:19 p.m., four persons were killed as two sightseeing helicopters collided in mid-air.

The collision took place in Canadian air space approximately 100 meters (330 feet) west of the Horseshoe falls in front of the Minolta Tower and Incline Railway. The weather was crisp and clear. Wind wasn't a factor.

Two men and two woman aboard the American sightseeing helicopter owned and operated by Rainbow Helicopters of Niagara Falls, New York died. The American helicopter, a bright red Hughes 500E, was piloted by Ben Porawski, age 43 of Kendall, New York. Porawski had worked for Rainbow Helicopters for fifteen months. He was an experienced pilot with service in the Marines and U.S. Army.

Rainbow Helicopters was based at a heliport located at 454 Main Street, Niagara Falls, New York, adjacent to the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge.

Niagara Helicopters Limited operated from a heliport located on River Road at Victoria Avenue in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The Canadian helicopter, a Bell Jet Ranger i206 which was owned by Niagara Helicopters Limited was being piloted by Rodolfo DeCastro, age 42 of Niagara Falls, Ontario. He was carrying four Spanish speaking passengers identified as Ana Torredemer Morcet, age 33 of Barcelona, Spain Anna Maria Espinosa Equizabel, age 60 of Madrid, Spain: her husband, Carmen Estefania Garcia, age 64 of Madrid, Spain and Santiago Grau Carci, age 39 of Barcelona, Spain.

DeCastro was an experienced pilot and a veteran of the Phillipine Air Force.

Following the collision, DeCastro was able to bring his badly damaged aircraft to a safe landing in the parking lot of Marineland located approximately 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the crash scene.

Witness, Michael Folemsbee, a six year Niagara Parks employee described the crash as "one helicopter passed over the other and its wheels smashed off the tail of the other".

The American helicopter dropped from the sky like a stone following the collision. It was missing its tail section and main rotor. The cockpit compartment crashed into the base of the moraine beside the Incline Railway. The occupants died on impact with the ground. The bodies of the victims remained in the tangled wreckage until they were removed at approximately 8:55 p.m. that evening. The dead passengers were: Amnon Sarfate, age 26 of Brooklyn, New York his fianc e, Esther Zarian age 23 of Brooklyn, New York and Orna Levy, age 19 of Queens, New York.

The victims had come to Niagara Falls for a short visit with two other family members. Sadly, Amnon's sister, Nimrod Sarfate and Zarion's sister, Genya Zarion who remained on the ground both witnessed the crash that took the lives of their family members.

Folemsbee further described the collision as "it appeared the American was flying toward the Falls and the Canadian was flying away towards the escarpment".

The Bell Jet Ranger helicopter features a seven foot cockpit/cabin, carries four passengers and a maximum load of 3,208 pounds. The Hughes helicopter was smaller and could carry four occupants.

The crash was investigated by the Canadian Transport Safety Board. The cause of the crash wasn't immediately determined. Preliminary reports indicated that the American helicopter came up beneath the Canadian helicopter and that the entire right front of the cockpit/passenger compartment on the Canadian helicopter was heavily damaged. According the DeCastro, the American helicopter actually struck DeCastro's shoulder and nearly pulled him out of his pilot seat. Only DeCastro's seat belt prevented this.

On February 8th 1994, sixteen months after the crash, the Canadian Transport Safety Board issued a thirty page report on the cause of this accident. The Board ruled that no one was to blame because neither helicopter pilot saw each other in time to avoid this collision. The Board found that both helicopters were operating on a flight path which took them within a 200 foot altitude separation. The American helicopter was overtaking the Canadian helicopter from below when the main rotor blades of each helicopter made contact with each other. Part of the main rotor on the American helicopter was severed. The tail and tail rotor of the American helicopter made contact with the right front of the Canadian helicopter. The tail portion of the American helicopter was severed by the main rotor of the Canadian helicopter.

The Canadian helicopter was operating at 2,500 feet while the American helicopter was operating at 2,183 feet (183 feet above Rainbow Helicopters maximum ceiling).

Existing rules at the time of this accident allowed helicopters to circle over the Falls at a height of 610 - 670 meters (2,000 - 2,200 feet).


When Niagara Falls Ran Dry

Niagara Falls has seen plenty of dramatic stunts over the centuries, ever since a local hotel owner sent a condemned ship with a “cargo of ferocious animals” over the falls in 1827. (Only the goose survived the plunge.) But no feat has attracted more visitors than a scientific survey conducted in 1969. That year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers turned off American Falls. The engineers wanted to find a way to remove the unseemly boulders that had piled up at its base since 1931, cutting the height of the falls in half. But the study itself proved more appealing than any improvement they could recommend. The first weekend after the “dewatering,” about 100,000 people showed up to see this natural wonder without its liquid veil.

The performance will have an encore at some point in the coming years when New York State once again dewaters American Falls. The purpose this time is more pedestrian—to replace two bridges—but the process will be the same. Engineers will construct a dam between the American bank of the Niagara River and the eastern tip of Goat Island, stopping the flow of water—nearly 76,000 gallons every second—over the 11-story drop.

Will crowds show up this time? Photos from 1969 suggest the bedrock is nothing special to behold. Without water, American Falls is merely a cliff. And yet the spectacle fulfills a fantasy older than the American nation: human mastery over nature. To sap the falls completely would seem to be the ultimate triumph—but, in fact, Niagara Falls was long ago brought to heel.

The falls—American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and the small Bridal Veil Falls—formed some 12,000 years ago, when water from Lake Erie carved a channel to Lake Ontario. The name Niagara came from “Onguiaahra,” as the area was known in the language of the Iroquois people who settled there originally. After the French explorer Samuel de Champlain described the falls in 1604, word of the magnificent sight spread through Europe.

A visit to Niagara Falls was practically a religious experience. “When I felt how near to my Creator I was standing,” Charles Dickens wrote in 1842, “the first effect, and the enduring one—instant lasting—of the tremendous spectacle, was Peace.” Alexis de Tocqueville described a “profound and terrifying obscurity” on his visit in 1831, but he also recognized that the falls were not as invincible as they seemed. “Hasten,” Tocqueville urged a friend in a letter, or “your Niagara will have been spoiled for you.”

An early 1900s postcard shows American Falls as it looked before two massive rock slides. (New York Public Library)

To many, these cataracts were not natural wonders but natural resources. When Tocqueville visited, factories already encroached on the water’s edge. In 1894, King C. Gillette, the future razor magnate, predicted Niagara Falls could become part of a city called Metropolis with 60 million people. A few years later, Nikola Tesla designed one of the first hydroelectric plants near the falls. He saw it as a high point in human history: “It signifies the subjugation of natural forces to the service of man.”

Niagara Falls today is the result of the push and pull of exploitation and preservation. The Free Niagara Movement successfully lobbied to create a park around the site in the 1880s, but the changes continued. In 1950, the United States and Canada decided to divert 50 percent of the water from Niagara Falls through underwater tunnels to hydroelectric turbines during peak tourist hours. At night, the water flow over the falls is cut in half again. (Engineers manipulate the flow using 18 gates upstream.)

The historian Daniel Macfarlane has called the modern falls “a completely man-made and artificial cataract.” Ironically, this has maintained them as a tourist attraction. People want to see the image they recognize from postcards, but the Niagara Falls, left to its own devices, is one of the fastest-eroding falls in the world. It has moved seven miles since it formed the diversion of water has helped reduce the rate of erosion by more than 85 percent.

The engineers who built the diversion tunnels also made several modifications to the actual falls. They excavated both edges of Horseshoe Falls to create a visually pleasing crest. The 1969 dewatering was another aesthetic intervention, but the engineers decided, surprisingly, to leave the fallen boulders alone. “Recent emphasis on environmental values has raised questions about changing natural conditions even for demonstrated natural and measurable social benefits,” they wrote in their final report.

At some point, the United States and Canada will face the same dilemma again: Do they intervene to maintain the falls or let natural processes unfold? Even with the decreased rate of deterioration, the falls regress a little every year. In about 15,000 years, the cliff edge will reach a riverbed of soft shale—and then Nature will upstage any human efforts. Niagara Falls will crumble and irrevocably disappear.


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