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MAN ON MAKESHIFT RAFT RESCUED FROM RAPIDS

A 46-year-old Niagara Falls, Ont., resident and his dog were pulled from the Niagara River on Tuesday after they drifted toward the upper rapids of Niagara Falls on a makeshift raft with a shovel for a paddle, Niagara Regional Police said.

The man constructed the raft from an inner tube, inflatable child's dingy, a metal car luggage rack for "stability" and a piece of rug for "comfort," he told police after being towed in by members of St. John's Ambulance Water Patrol.

The entire contraption was held together with string, rope and bungee cords, police said.

The man, whose name was not released, launched his raft along the Niagara Parkway in Chippawa near Navy Island and began paddling with a shovel along the river.

He was unable to paddle fast enough to overpower the wind and river current to get back to shore and drifted toward the falls. He was rescued about 4:30 p.m.

Police said ignorance of the local waterway and drugs were a factor, adding that the man faces numerous charges.

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