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Stuntman "Mad Mike" Hughes to jump over St. Lawrence River

California daredevil "Mad Mike" Hughes is planning to jump the St. Lawrence River in the town of Morrisburg next May using a steam-powered rocket.

"It's probably the most extreme stunt ever attempted," says "Mad Mike" Hughes

California daredevil "Mad Mike" Hughes is planning to soar across the St. Lawrence River using his own steam-powered rocket. (Mike Hughes)

A California stuntman is hoping to become the first person ever to soar across the St. Lawrence River in a steam-powered rocket.

"Mad Mike" Hughes says he's planning the high-stakes jump in May 2015 in the town of Morrisburg, even if the township of South Dundas might still have a few reservations.

To do anything extraordinary in your life takes extraordinary effort.- Mike Hughes

"I think, honestly, it's probably the most extreme stunt ever attempted," Hughes told All in a Day host Rebecca Zandbergen

"I'm the only person in the world who can accomplish that."

Jump first tried in 1981

Hughes isn't the first daredevil to set his sights on the St. Lawrence: in 1981, another stuntman named Ken Powers tried to jump the river in a rocket-powered Lincoln Continental.

Powers' rocket tore apart in the air almost immediately, however, sending him straight into the river with a broken back. The jump was later featured in a National Film Board documentary called The Devil at Your Heels.

Hughes is confident his rocket won't meet the same fate.

"I've designed it, I've engineered it, I've strapped myself inside of this thing," said Hughes, adding he's personally flown the rocket more than 400 metres in a single launch.

While Hughes' rocket will have to fly much further than that to make it across the St. Lawrence River, the 58-year-old says he's undaunted by the challenge.

"To do anything extraordinary in your life takes an extraordinary effort," Hughes said. "Always remember that."

Could bring tourism boost

Geraldine Fitzsimmons, general manager of the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce, said she realizes the township's council might have hesitations about Hughes' jump — particularly over the question of insurance — even if it could bring the region a major tourism boost.

"I think for sure they're very leery about it. And I totally understand it. Because that's why we put them there, to protect our money," said Fitzsimmons.

"They have to make sure everything is right before they make their final decision."