Steve Trotter

Steve Trotter (born November 13, 1962) is a daredevil who is the youngest person to have gone over Niagara Falls in a barrel. He is one of only a few people to have performed the stunt twice. He has also performed other illegal stunts.[1][2]

Steve Trotter
Trotter at Niagara Falls in 1985
Born (1962-11-13) November 13, 1962 (age 59)
Known forGoing over Niagara Falls in a barrel twice

1985 - Successful journey over Niagara FallsEdit

Trotter always sought to make a floating death-defying journey over Niagara Falls. He planned for several months and decided upon the month of August to perform his stunt. Upon arriving in Niagara, he pinpointed the next day, August 16, 1985, as the day for the roll. In the morning, upon readying himself to get in the water with the barrel, he was stopped when police showed up, foiling his first attempt. He was escorted by Canadian authorities with his barrel back to the US border and released.[1]

On August 18, 1985, Trotter began his attempt from a location just upstream from the Horseshoe Falls. He survived the plunge uninjured. He became the youngest person to ever survive the stunt (age 22) and the first American in 25 years to go over the falls in a barrel.[2][3] He used two pickle barrels placed end-to-end. The exterior was reinforced with layers of fiberglass, balsa wood for flotation, and covered with truck tire inner tubes for shock absorption. Trotter was strapped into an automotive racing harness, and equipped with flashlights, lifejacket, two-way radio, and oxygen tanks. The ends of the barrel were sealed with submarine-style twist caps.

At 8:30AM, Trotter's 11-man crew launched his barrel into the Niagara River rapids, a quarter-mile from the brink of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Trotter went over the Falls and survived with minor scrapes. Trotter said the stunt was "like the best roller-coaster ride you had as a 10-year-old." He was fined $500 by the Niagara Parks Police for "illegally stunting in a park."[2]

Trotter appeared on Good Morning America and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Trotter's photo was published in Time magazine, he made the front-page of USA Today, and numerous other publications worldwide.[citation needed] He was selected by Mademoiselle as "One of the 10 Sexiest Men in the World."

1995 - Second successful journey over Niagara FallsEdit

He performed the stunt again on June 18, 1995, becoming the second person to survive the stunt twice.[2] He was accompanied by Lori Martin. The barrel, which had a 90-minute air supply for its two occupants, was made from two heater tanks welded together.[2]

Trotter received a compression fracture in his back as a result of the stunt. He also received a jail sentence of two weeks and was fined $14,700 by the Niagara Parks Commission.[1]

Other stuntsEdit

Trotter also achieved notoriety in November 1985, when he set the world record for the longest "Tarzan swing" off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Trotter attached a 176-foot (54 m) cable to the center span of the bridge, then moved to a point 176 feet (54 m) away, and jumped off the bridge. Trotter, sitting on a small wooden disk attached to the end of the cable, in effect became the weight on a pendulum, traveling at 70 mph. Trotter was jailed and charged with trespassing.

Trotter's attempted repeat of the stunt in 1997 at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge ended in disaster.[4] Trotter and four other people jumped, attached to the same cable. The plan had not been tested previously, and the cable snapped during the effort, causing Trotter and the others to plunge at least 70 feet (21 m) into the bay. Trotter and Jeff Sargent escaped major injury, but Lori Martin broke a vertebra in her neck and stopped breathing after the accident, forcing the others to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation to keep her alive in the water. Glenn Rohm also broke a vertebra and had his head held in a metal halo drilled into his skull.


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