A daredevil stuntman was extremely lucky today when his performance went awry and the compressed air cannon supposed to eject him in a net less than 40 meters away instead catapulted him over 3800 meters into Lake Michigan.
36-year old Joey “Cannonball” Mcphee, a professional stuntman known for performing dangerous acts for circuses and fair shows, was part of Detroit Annual Motor Fair show presented this afternoon at the TCF Center.
He was presenting a stunt in which he acts as a “cannonball” and is ejected from a specially designed cannon to lands on a horizontal net set at a distance of 35 meters.
The excessive quantity of black powder and fireworks used for visual effects caused the cannon to malfunction and Mr. Mcphee was expelled at a speed of more than 290 miles per hour, more than three times the expected velocity.
Reaching an estimated height of over 360 feet in the air at some point, the stuntman was propelled out of TCF center and out of view of spectators.
Robert Garrison, the captain of a Canadian lake freighter ship that was sailing 2 miles from there, recalls seeing “a red projectile” suddenly appearing in the sky and coming to crash less than 10 feet away from his ship.
“I saw this red missile coming in our direction, my first thought was that Trump must have declared war on Canada and we were gonna be among the first victims.”
Despite the original confusion aboard, the Canadian crewmen rapidly realized that the “projectile” was, in fact, an endangered man.
Mr. Garrison says two of the sailors jumped after him in the freezing cold water and after desperate efforts, were finally able to pull him out.
“He hit the icy water with a lot of speed. He was totally limp and broken. It’s a miracle he’s even alive.”
Mr. Mcphee was transported to the DMC Harper University Hospital where his condition is considered critical but stable.
He suffers from 41 broken bones, 73 bone fractures, two perforated lungs, as well as several other injuries.
Doctors no longer fear for his life, but he could suffer from several serious long-term consequences.