Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Skydive Pepperell: Incident occurred August 13, 2017 in Dunstable, Middlesex County, Massachusetts

DUNSTABLE, Mass. —  A skydiver became stuck in a tree Sunday, and remained there for about four hours as rescuers were trying to reach him.

The Dunstable Police and Fire Departments said the skydiver was stuck between 60 and 80 feet up in a tree located near 223 River St. The departments said they were working with the Northeast Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team to get the skydiver down.

“The victim is believed to have suffered non-life-threatening injuries and has been communicating verbally with rescuers,” officials said.

The skydiver, Aatif Rathad, refused to be taken to the hospital after reaching the ground around 10:45 p.m., officials said. Rathad told reporters he was flying in a wingsuit and had trouble deploying his main parachute before becoming twisted in the line for the reserve parachute.

"I don't understand how this happened, but I landed perfectly in a tree, sitting on a branch, as luck had it," Rathad said. "That was pure, dumb luck. I had no control of the canopy. I just happened to win the lottery today."

Rathad said he has about five years of skydiving experience.

"This incident should not dissuade anyone from skydiving," he said. "It is a very safe sport, contrary to what you see here. Everybody should try it."

A search on Google Maps indicates that the skydiver was stuck just over one half mile from a business named Skydive Pepperell, although authorities have not said if the incident is related to that business.

Story and video ➤ http://www.wcvb.com

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