Boy rescued from 30-foot perch in tree

Beaufort-Port Royal firefighters rescued a 7-year-old boy who climbed 30 feet up a tree at sunset last Wednesday, Dec. 11, only to find the brittle branches breaking.

“We get calls about cats stuck way up in trees, but we don’t hear about boys stuck that high up,” Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron said.

“The boy was scared but he stayed calm, which is what helped this story end on a happy note,” he said. “Our firefighters came to the scene prepared and took extra precautions to keep everyone safe.”

Around 6:30 p.m. that Wednesday, dispatchers received a phone call about a boy who had climbed some 30 feet up into a tree on 12th Street in Port Royal near Port Royal Elementary School. The boy wasn’t able to climb down because it was dark and branches started breaking.

The Beaufort-Port Royal firefighters asked for backup help from Beaufort County EMS and the Burton Fire District. To help with the rescue, firefighters brought the Tower 2 ladder truck and several extension ladders, Beaufort Fire Captain John Robinson said.

“While we were rolling to the scene, dispatch received another call that the branch the boy was standing on had just broken, but that he was OK,” Robinson said. “When we got there, we put up a 24-foot extension ladder and secured that to the tree. We had a firefighter go up and talk to the boy to tell him what we were doing and that everything would be all right.

“We put up the 35-foot extension ladder and secured it to the tree, then we made a webbing harness to help us safely bring down the boy,” Robinson said. “The boy was fine, just a little scared by all the attention, I guess, plus being stuck in a tree in the dark.

“The tree had a very small trunk and limbs with lots of dead wood — it wasn’t the best tree to climb,” he said. “The guys did a great job keeping him calm and smoothly transitioning from his perch to the safety of the firefighters’ arms.”

The boy was uninjured and returned to his family.

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