THE rescue mission for a paraglider who was saved after landing in a cluster of trees – only to be stranded 70-foot-high up and suspended in mid-air by his parachute – will be reconstructed on national television tomorrow.

The paraglider, male, from Warrington, was flying at several hundred feet over a popular paragliding location near Llangollen on March 20 when his parachute collapsed, causing him to plunge vertically to the earth.

Fortunately, the forest near Tyn Dwr Hall provided a temporary landing as his parachute became caught in the trees and provided a canopy in which he lay still, suspended in mid-air.

Denbighshire Free Press:

The paraglider, who will remain unnamed until the BBC’s Close Calls programme on Friday morning, slowly reached for his phone to call the emergency services.

The fire service, ambulance, police and coast guard rushed to the scene, but the responsibility to save the man’s life fell upon a group of volunteers, the North East Wales Search and Rescue (NEWSAR) team, a 24-hour on-call search and rescue team based at Loggerheads Country Park in Mold.

Gerald Davison, deputy team leader, who was NEWSAR incident commander on the day and spoke to the stranded paraglider over the phone, said: “I received a call from the police detailing a casualty stuck 70ft high up a tree.

“I rang the paraglider to find out where he was and it was a surreal conversation. He was terribly calm, but you don’t become a paraglider if you are scared easily.

“He said ‘I’m fine, I’m just stuck’, and that he had come to rest in a canopy in a free space, held by his parachute attached to surrounding trees above his head.

“One of our volunteers is a tree surgeon, who was at work at the time so he had his equipment ready when we received the emergency call. When we arrived, he climbed an adjoining tree to the paraglider to rig anchors, and used a twin rope system to bring the paraglider down in a controlled fashion.”

Mr Davison, who is recently retired, was part of NEWSAR’s team of volunteers on the day that included an outdoor instructor, paramedic, cabinet maker and a headteacher.

The group managed to rendezvous from their various locations across north Wales to meet at the scene within half an hour.

The coast guard had considered using their helicopter to rescue the man, but this was decided too dangerous as the parachute might become unstuck, so NEWSAR’s services were required.

“We had rehearsed for cliff rescues, but this involved placing anchors on the ground,” said Mr Davison.

Denbighshire Free Press:

“It was a nervous moment but the rescue went as we hoped.”

The reconstruction of the rescue mission will be aired on BBC1 at 11.45am on Friday.

Speaking on the show Mr Davison said: “We spent three hours recording at our base at Loggerheads, which involved a reconstruction of the rescue such as climbing the tree and placing the anchors – but this was done 2 feet off the ground rather than 70.”

NEWSAR is a voluntary service that relies on donations. To find out more about the service, get involved or to donate, visit