NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Three young men from Kentucky are under arrest after what authorities call startling stupidity at Niagara Falls.
The call came in as three men swimming in the Niagara River below the Horseshoe Falls. What NYS Park Police found was nothing they've seen before.
Lt. Patrick Moriarty said, "Oh, they were as close as you can get. Close as you can humanly walk up to the base of the falls. You can't go any farther than they did."
Police say the men lowered themselves from the deck at the "Cave of the Winds" tour. They then scrambled along the shoreline, sometimes entering the water to work their way upriver, all the way to the base of the falls.
"People go over the railings all the time. This is a first though, down at the bottom, for them to lower themselves down. Because that water is treacherous. It's solid rapids," Lt. Moriarty said.
Police say it was incredibly dangerous for the men, navigating the unstable ground and swift currents in bathing suits. The men were identified as Michael Samples, Edward "Franklin" Goins, and Adam Jones, of Frankfort, KY. All of them are 20 years-old.
All three were charged with Disorderly Conduct and Reckless Endangerment on Monday morning in Niagara Falls City court. Jones was also charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance for amphetamines found in his car.
All three men have been released on bail.
Lt. Moriarty added, "For them to get that close and enter that water, they're lucky they didn't get sucked out."
But it was also treacherous for the rescuers who had to lower themselves down with ropes upriver to get them. After rescuing the men, and telling them they should know better, police placed them in handcuffs.
It was apparent thrill-seeking that other visitors at the falls couldn't believe.
Eric Whitt said, "I think it's pretty stupid. I don't know why anyone would want to try it."
Jackie Thompson added, "I think it's like really unsafe to have ever done that. I was down on the hurricane deck. I think you're kind of silly."
Police hope they never have to rescue anyone pulling a stunt like this again.
Lt. Moriarty noted, "It's incredible they're still safe. That's the incredible part."
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