DUNSTABLE – A skydiver who became stuck 60 to 80 feet up in a tree for roughly four hours on Sunday night was rescued with no major injuries
Aatif Rathod landed perfectly in a tree, sitting on a branch, he told CBS Boston TV.
At approximately 7:15 p.m., first responders received a 911 call about a skydiver landing in the tree in the area of 223 River St. in Dunstable, according to a press release issued by John Guilfoil Public Relations on behalf of the Dunstable Police and Fire departments.
“At first we heard this crack of our tree,” homeowner David Scharn told CBS Boston TV. “Then we heard, ‘hey, I’m stuck in a tree.’ So I thought it was some kid who climbed a tree and couldn’t get down.”
Rathod, an experienced skydiver with about 380 jumps, started jumping in a wingsuit about a month ago, he told WCVB, ABC channel 5. On his third jump of the day, he could not reach the pole to activate the main parachute.
“I decided to go into my emergency procedures, I cut my main parachute and pulled my reserve.”
“I ended up getting twists, line twists in my reserve,” he said. “I was spinning up in the air and I landed backwards in the tree,” he said.
Don Mayer, the airport manager at Pepperell Skydiving Center, said the parachutist ended up in the tree after he was blown off course from the landing area, according to CBS Boston.
The Northeast Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team responded to the scene and conducted the rescue operation. The Pepperell Fire Department provided coverage for the town of Dunstable during the rescue efforts, the release states.
It isn’t the first skydiving accident involving divers from Pepperell Skydiving. In August 2014, 37-year-old Boston resident Daniel Pelrine was killed after a jump.