Paraglider stuck in tree for three hours

An arborist was called in to aid rescuers near Bulli Tops yesterday after a paraglider became stuck in a tree more than 30m off the ground.

Alex Ozkn found himself at the centre of a high-stakes rescue after he flew off-course and descended in thick bushland about 3.30pm.

His wing caught on tree branches, leaving him suspended 30m high. 

He freed himself from his harness and held tight to one of the branches for more than three hours before the arborist arrived and scaled the tree, which had no branches for the first 25m.

Mr Ozkn, of Kellyville, was brought back to ground using ropes and a harness. 

He was uninjured but - a diabetic - had grown weary from the ordeal. 

Ambulance paramedics administered glucose while he was still in the tree.

Illawarra Ambulance district officer Terry Morrow said the man was uninjured and able to go home soon after he returned to ground. 

‘‘The gentleman stated that he was quite frightened by the event and he was happy to be safe on the ground,’’ he said.

Police Rescue personnel and Fire and Rescue NSW also aided the rescue, made difficult by tough terrain.

Rescuers walked a 500m fire trail and about 100m of dense bushland in order to reach the tree.

Mr Ozkn told emergency services personnel he deployed his emergency reserve parachute after getting into difficulty over the Bulli Tops.

It is believed high-tension wires in the area may have contributed to the pilot’s decisions.

Emergency services were alerted to the accident by friends of Mr Ozkn, who were with him when he came into difficulty. 

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