Car in Niagara Falls rescue attempt went over brink

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A U.S. Coast Guard diver is lowered from a hovering helicopter to pull a body from a submerged vehicle stuck in rushing rapids just yards from the brink of Niagara Falls on Dec. 8, 202. (Sharon Cantillon/The Buffalo News via AP)

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — A car that was stuck partly submerged near the brink of Niagara Falls after a daring rescue attempt last week went over the falls and cannot be seen from the shore, state parks officials said.

A U.S. Coast Guard swimmer who descended by a cable from a hovering helicopter pulled a woman’s body from the car Wednesday. Aviation Survival Technician second class Derrian Duryea was lower down with the help of his team, which made the one-hour flight from U.S. Coast Guard Station Detroit, into the rapids about 50 yards from the edge of the falls.

“Once we got on scene, there was obviously snow was still blowing and our biggest concern was the car’s position, was the car gonna move, what were we gonna do if I was down there and the car started to move?” Duryea said. “I was able to open the passenger side door and put myself in between the door frame and the actual car door against the current.”

State park police say the woman likely drove into the river on purpose.

The car was last seen above the American Falls Saturday night amid rising water and heavy winds. The car was gone from the brink by daybreak Sunday.

Niagara Falls faced wind gusts of over 50 mph Saturday night as damaging winds swept through Western New York.

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