Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Drunk UK student rescued from tree

A British student who climbed up a tree as a drunken prank and then fell asleep, woke up the next morning wrapped around a branch and used his mobile phone to call for help, fire-fighters said on Tuesday.

The inebriated individual, whose identity was not disclosed, scrambled 100 feet (30.4 metres) up the giant pine tree on the campus of the Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology in leafy Cheltenham, western England.

Eight fire-fighters were called out at 5.45am (4.45am GMT) on Tuesday to rescue the young man, who was shoeless and wearing only jeans and a T-shirt.

They took 90 minutes to get him back to earth using an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys.

Station officer Nigel Lambrick, of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "He had had a skinful and in his inebriated state he climbed 100 feet up a pine tree, without his shoes on. He then fell asleep.

"I'm not quite sure how he managed it but he woke up wrapped around a branch. I think he had quite a shock. He was lucky he had his mobile phone or he could've been up there for some time."

The student, said to be red-faced when he eventually reached terra firma, was treated for cuts and scratches but was otherwise uninjured.

Lambrick added: "Alcohol and climbing trees don't really mix. In all seriousness, he could've killed himself if he had fallen and two fire-fighters also had to climb up to him and put their lives at risk."