The secret of Jessie Sharp’s obsessive dream now lies with him, somewhere under the roiling waters at the foot of Niagara Falls. Brandishing his paddle aloft, the 28-year-old Nashville native went over the crest of the 176-foot Horseshoe Falls in a closed-deck canoe on June 5. He was wearing neither a helmet nor a life jacket. His paddle popped to the surface in 10 minutes. His dented canoe, named Rapid-man, was spotted several hundred yards downstream an hour later. A week after the plunge, Sharp’s body had yet to be found.
The canoeist’s ride over the falls on the Canadian side of the river took place in front of horrified honeymooners, police officers and three friends of Sharp’s from the tight-knit white-water paddler community near the Tennessee-Georgia border. The three are back home—and they are definitely not talking to the press.