Skydivers rescued after getting stuck up a tree

July 25, 2012 2:25:38 PM PDT
Two skydivers spent about 30 minutes tangled up in a tree after strong winds blew them off course on Long Island.

One of those stuck was a young woman who planned on ending her first sky diving experience. It was apparently a freak wind that swept through the air Tuesday evening just as the woman and several other sky divers including Tom Gabrielsen jumped tandem out of the plane going right through the dark storm clouds.

"We kind of got in a mini-tornado it took us and just whipped us right around we did a 50 foot radius," Tom Gabrielsen said.

On the ground, Skydive Long Island owner Ray Maynard was taken just as much by surprise. The wind was as calm as they were today.

"I was in the hanger doing something on the work bench and I heard this rustle and all of the chairs out here were doing about 30 miles per hour," Maynard said.

Maynard radioed to the pilots in the air telling them to stop all the divers, but most of them like Matt Gabrielsen had already jumped.

"At about 2 thousand feet we kind of realized we didn't have enough speed to make it to the drop lane so we picked a nice grassy field over there near the sports complex. We just aimed for there and that's where we ended up coming down," he said.

But the young woman and her instructor ended up getting caught in the tree about 30 feet in the air on River Road, near the Swan Lake Golf Course. They were not injured.

"They were relatively secure where they were because the parachute had laid itself on the top of the canopy of tree," Manorville First Asst. Chief Howard Snow.

They were supposed to land only feet away from the hangar where they started, but instead they landed about a mile east.

About half an hour later firefighters got them both down.

Things were back to normal at Skydive Long Island on Wednesday.

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