Woman unscathed after parachuting into treetop

Randal Thompson of Murdaugh's Tree Service works to secure a harness on the stuck parachutist. (Provided)

WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCIV) -- A female parachutist that somehow landed in the top of a 75-foot pine tree was rescued by workers of a local tree service company Friday.

Chief Barry McRoy with Colleton County Fire-Rescue said the incident was reported at 11:01 a.m. The woman was stuck in a swampy area near the intersection of North Lemacks Street and Colleton Loop.

"The tree was well off of the road, down in a swampy area and was not accessible by any vehicles," McRoy said. "A call was made to the Coast Guard, but they refused to respond inland."

McRoy said calls were then made to SC-HART (South Carolina's search and rescue task force) and to Murdaugh's Tree Service.

Two tree technicians arrived about 25 minutes after the call was made and one of them, using spiked boots, quickly "walked up the tree." McRoy said that man, Randal Thompson, went to the top of the 75-foot pine with little difficulty.

"He placed a different harness on the woman, tied her off to the tree, while Mr. (Lee) Murdaugh belayed her from the ground," McRoy said.

The woman was hardly injured. According to McRoy, she only had a few minor scrapes.

McRoy said they were told her parachute was hit by another skydiver, causing it to collapse.

"She was in good spirits throughout the ordeal. She communicated with rescuers on the ground and patiently waited until Mr. Thompson climbed up to her. It is my understanding that she went back up about two hours later and jumped again."