Tree rescue to feature on TV

SUSPENDED: The rescue operation to save Pracheen Gemawatt
SUSPENDED: The rescue operation to save Pracheen Gemawatt

THE dramatic rescue of a student who plunged into a 60ft-high treetop following a botched parachute jump will be broadcast on national television tomorrow.

Pracheen Gemawatt narrowly escaped serious injury after he landed in the tree in Peterlee after doing a jump from Shotton airfield in May.

The 21-year-old, who is from Mumbai in India, had to be saved by firefighters who abseiled down from an aerial platform to reach him.

Now, his ordeal is to be featured on BBC show Real Rescues, which focuses on the response of the emergency services who got Pracheen to safety.

“I did not know where the landing site was, I did not have any clue where I was,” said Pracheen, who studies in Newcastle.

After being caught up in the tree’s branches he spent three hours hanging, tangled up in his parachute, before the rope rescue team from Cleveland Fire Brigade managed to get him down safely.

It was only when Pracheeen eventually got to the ground and met up with university pal Eanna Flannagan that it sunk in just how lucky he had been to avoid death.

“He thought I was really seriously injured,” said Pracheen.

Real Rescues is on BBC1 tomorrow at 11am and will be repeated on BBC2 on Monday at 7.05am.