Scary fall

February 09, 2018

Emergency services retrieve a Coffs Harbour arborist, 37, from the side of a river bank after he fell 10 m while trying to cut trees on Tom Collins Dve in Shepparton yesterday.

Shepparton Search and Rescue and CFA members were at the scene.

A nest of wasps and a faulty harness are suspected to be the causes of an arborist falling 10m from a tree while working yesterday.

The Coffs Harbour man, 37, was doing work for an electricity company on Tom Collins Dve, Shepparton, to remove branches around powerlines when the incident happened about 11.30am.

Shepparton police Sergeant Mark Washington said the man was harnessed in at the time, but it appeared the harness had come loose.

‘‘What we believe is that he was climbing the tree preparing to do work and he’s disturbed a nest of wasps,’’ Sgt Washington said.

‘‘He’s then moved to a different location and the harness has given way and he’s fallen down the bank.

‘‘He was harnessed in at the time and it appears the harness has come loose, so investigations are continuing in relation to that.’’

It took emergency crews almost two hours to retrieve the man from the bank, and he was then transported to hospital in a stable condition with suspected spinal injuries.

‘‘It was quite steep, but we’re lucky we’ve got great emergency services in the area who conduct some great work, he was in good hands,’’ Sgt Washington said.

A WorkSafe representative was on site and said the cause of the fall would be investigated.

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