Canadian man arrested after crossing Niagara River on a raft in sub-zero temperatures

6 February 2007: At approximately 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, a Canadian man in an 8′ inflatable raft was rescued from the swift current of the Niagara River as he attempted to cross into the U.S. in sub-zero wind chill conditions “so he could pay his credit card bill,” stated law enforcement officials. Wayne E. KINGWELL, 40, of Fort Erie, Ontario spent 5 hours in a rubber raft on the coldest day of the year hoping to make it to the U.S. before being rescued near Grand Island, NY after being spotted in the raft by a Grand Island resident. When rescued, KINGWELL told authorities that he routinely crosses the Niagara River in either an aluminum boat or rubber raft “to do some banking in Buffalo.”

Sources close to the Northeast Intelligence Network confirmed that the man was carrying three duffle bags that included $4,000 in cash and a laptop computer in his raft. Police and EMS officials threw the man a rope and pulled him to a dock at East River Road and Winkler Drive on Grand Island. After on-site evaluation by the Grand Island Fire Department, KINGWELL was transported to Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, where he was treated for hypothermia.

U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn said “investigators are trying to determine the validity of a bizarre explanation that KINGWELL gave after he was rescued.”

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