By Lou Raguse
Niagara Falls, NY (WIVB/CNN) - Some apparent thrill-seekers at Niagara Falls ended up in serious danger and big trouble with police.
The three young men from Kentucky decided to pull a stunt below the Horseshoe Falls, the larger waterfall at Niagara Falls.
The call came in for three men swimming in the Niagara River below the Horseshoe Falls. What New York State Park Police found was nothing they've seen before.
"Oh, they were as close as you can get. Close as you can humanly walk up to the base of the falls. You can't go any farther than they did," said Lt. Patrick Moriarty.
Police say the men lowered themselves from the deck at the Cave of Winds tour. They then scrambled along the shoreline, sometimes entering the water to work their way upriver, all the way to the base of the falls.
"People go over the railings all the time. This is a first though, down at the bottom, for them to lower themselves down, because that water is treacherous. It's solid rapids," said Lt. Moriarty.
It's treacherous for the men, navigating the ungrown, unstable ground and swift currents in bathing suits.
"For them to get that close and enter that water, they're lucky they didn't get sucked out," said Lt. Moriarty.
And treacherous for the rescuers, who had to lower themselves down with ropes upriver to get them. After rescuing the men and telling them they should know better, police placed them in handcuffs.
Apparent thrill-seeking that other visitors at the falls couldn't believe.
"I think it's pretty stupid. I don't know why anyone would want to try that," said Ohio tourist Eric Whitt.
"I think it's like really unsafe to have ever done that. I was down on the hurricane deck and feeling the water coming in on me, and the pressure, it just comes down on you. It's just crazy. I think you're kind of silly," said Philadelphia tourist Jackie Thompson.
Police hope they never have to rescue anyone pulling a stunt like this ever again.
The three 20-year-olds were charged with disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment