NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario (AP) – For the first time in history, a man survived a plunge over Niagara Falls Monday with only the clothes on his back to protect him.

Witnesses described seeing the man float by in the swift Niagara River, go headfirst over the churning 180-foot waterfall and then pull himself out of the water onto rocks below.

“He just looked calm. He just was gliding by so fast. I was in shock really that I saw a person go by,” witness Brenda McMullen told WIVB-TV in Buffalo.

Water rushes over the falls at a rate of 150,000 gallons per second.

“I saw him disappear over the edge of the falls,” McMullen’s husband, Terry McMullen, said. The Columbus, Ohio, tourists snapped photographs afterward, showing the man dressed in street clothes, apparently lying on the shoreline at the base of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

Only one other person has survived a plunge over the Canadian falls without a barrel or other contraption: a 7-year-old boy wearing a life preserver who had been thrown into the water in a 1960 boating accident.

The man who went over the falls Monday was taken to Greater Niagara General Hospital for medical treatment, said police, who would not comment on his injuries except to say they were not life-threatening. Hospital spokeswoman Marilyn Bellows said the man was in stable condition.

, but declined to provide any additional information about when he would be released, according to the Canadian Press.

AP-ES-10-20-03 2140EDT

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