Paraglider freed after being stuck in wires near Indian Ladder Farms
NEW SALEM – It was a perilous flight with an inauspicious landing. A man experiencing a birds-eye view of a rural Albany County apple orchard winds up dangling from high tension power lines for more than an hour.
The ordeal began in front of the Indian Ladder Farms around 5:00 Monday afternoon. That’s where a man out parasailing became wedged between wires as dozens of apple pickers looked on in horror.
"He hit the high tension line," said New Salem Fire Chief Craig Schufelt, "He came off the mountain (Helderberg) which he does a lot. He’s been here for years and he should have known better."
Even though firefighters arrived quickly, the rescue had to be delayed due to the high voltage peril in the air.
"We weren’t sending anyone up there even with a tree bucket until the power was definitely cut off," Schufelt asserted. "So we had to wait for National Grid to get here and cut the power off."
And so the man was left hanging for more than an hour.
"He was going around the orchard, just doing what he normally does," Schufelt stated, "He got kind of close to the building and wanted to get out of there. He saw the wires and knew they were there and he went to throttle up and it wouldn’t pick him up enough."
Schufelt says the man refused medical treatment and escaped the harrowing ordeal unhurt
Because power was cut during the rescue operation, neighbors were without electricity for about three hours Monday night before it was restored around 8:00 p.m.