Man rescued from Queenstown tree

Photo by James Beech
Photo by James Beech

A 21-year-old Queenstown man walked away uninjured after his parapent crashed into a pine tree more than 40m above the ground this morning.

Queenstown police and St John ambulance officers stood ready as Queenstown aborist Abe Laguna climbed the tree at the Kiwi Birdlife Park to reach paraponter Ben Letham, who was suspended in mid-air by branches a few metres from the trunk.

Mr Letham was secured to a safety rope then instructed by Mr Laguna to abseil to the ground, where Constable Terry Wood was waiting to speak to him.

Kiwi Birdlife Park director Paul Wilson said parachutists often landed on the Queenstown Primary School field which borders the park, and this was not the first time a parachutist landed in one of the park's trees.

"You sometimes get a run. We try to discourage them from doing this."