JACKSONVILLE — UPDATE: Authorities have identified the man rescued after dangling from an antenna tower on Cherokee CR 3137.
According to Cherokee County officials, Johnny Perry, 53, Bullard, was hanging about 60 feet from the ground, authorities first said he was the homeowner trying to adjust his television reception. Officials later said Perry was actually from an antenna company and was called by the homeowner to remove the antenna.
Rescue crews say he climbed the 60-ft. tower, then fell around 10:30 Monday morning and dangled upside down in his harness for about 3 hours before crews were able to rescue him.
Perry was not seriously injured but was transported to a Jacksonville hospital to be checked out as a precaution.
Information from our news partners, KTBB.
PHOTO COURTESY JACKSONVILLE DAILY PROGRESS:
Around 10:30 this morning is when it all happened on County Road 3137 on Lake Jacksonville.
What we are told is an experienced climber ran into a bit of a problem while dissassembling an antenna for one Jacksonville homeowner.
"Lifted the tower...the antenna from the tower and as he did, the weight of the antenna shifted his weight and he slipped and turned upside down on the tower," said Jacksonville Fire Department Captain Kevin McKinney.
The man was dangling nearly 60 feet in the air.
McKinney says the man's assistant quickly climbed after him and tied him to the tower until rescue workers could arrive.
Fire officials tell us the first thing they did is tie some guy wires to the tower to make it safer for climbing.
"We got the ladder in position underneath him, had one guy above him, one guy below him, they secured him to the ladder truck and lifted his weight and lowered him down onto the ladder where we could bring him down," McKinney said.
Earle's Chapel fire chief Ted Hunt was also on scene.
He says the climber was only wearing a safety belt -- not a full harness.
"I believe if I was going to be climbing a tower I would have a full body harness so if you did fall, he wouldn't have gotten in the situation he was in and been able to ride his self back up," Hunt said.
We asked Captain McKinney just when was the last time something like this happened...
"I've been here 28 years and I've never seen that happen," McKinney said.
He says if they had put the man upright again as soon as they rescued him, the blood would have rushed back to his feet quickly and caused problems.
So they had to take him to a local hospital with his feet elevated above his head.