An 8-year-old boy hanging precariously from a ski resort chairlift was rescued by five teenage pals who used plastic netting to catch him as he fell.
The unidentified boy had somehow slipped through an opening of the chairlift at Grouse Mountain in Vancouver Wednesday. His father, sitting next to him, managed to grab his arm just in time, the North Shore News reported. The rest of his body dangled 20 feet above the ground.
Ethan Harvey, 13, who was skiing nearby, told CTV News that his companions “pointed to the lift and I saw the kid dangling and I was like, ‘Holy smokes.’”
Harvey’s pal, 14-year-old skier James MacDonald, told Global News that he didn’t think the boy’s father could hold onto him much longer because he was “starting to flail about and get extremely panicked.” The father was “yelling for help. The kid’s screaming and the dad’s holding onto him by his hood and arm,” he recounted.
As most people on the ground stared, stunned, MacDonald took action. He directed nearby adult good Samaritan Peter Pian to gather orange netting that’s used at ski resorts to block off sections of the hills. Then MacDonald and another friend stripped off padding from nearby poles to cushion the netting and they stretched it out with the help of others. They then directed the 8-year-old to kick off his skis, trust them — and drop.
“I kinda knew we could do this,” Harvey said.
“Wow, they’re heroes,” a woman can be heard saying on a cell phone video of the rescue as the boy safely falls into the makeshift rescue net.
The young rescuers cheered and high-fived. The boy was taken to a nearby hospital to be checked out but was reportedly uninjured.
The ski resort has launched an investigation into the accident, according to a spokesman. The president of Grouse Mountain met personally with the five teenage rescuers and two adults who helped them Friday to thank and reward with “Grouse Hero” complimentary ski passes for next year, Global News reported.
One of the members of the young rescue team, Gabriel Neilson, told CTV: “It was all over so quickly, but it was just ... brilliant ideas all put together. We saved the kid that way.”