Employee Details Rescue Operation After Child Slips From Chairlift in Northern Michigan
Employees at The Highlands of Harbor Springs worked to rescue a child that had slipped from a chairlift on Sunday (2/12).
This incident occurred less than a month after another child was hospitalized due to a fall from a chairlift at Boyne Mountain Ski Resort in Boyne City. Boyne Mountain and The Highlands are both owned and operated by Boyne Resorts.
Girl's Mother and Staff React Quickly
According to an employee of the Highlands who spoke with Townsquare Media under the condition of anonymity, the girl and her mother were riding on the Amy lift, a four-person chairlift that services intermediate-level terrain at the resort.
The child, believed to be about 7 or 8 years of age, began to slip from the chairlift and was caught by her mother who was only able to hang on to the girl by her hood.
The chairlift operator immediately shut down the lift as the girl's mother held onto the child by her coat. As the child dangled from the chairlift, before ski patrol staff could even arrive on the scene, lift operators acted quickly and were able to assemble a rescue team, according to the employee.
Staff members then deployed a large tarp-like "deceleration mat" that was stretched out under the chairlift. The employee noted that someone falling from a chairlift is a rare occurrence, so a few of the newer employees had not yet encountered this situation except in their training, but they felt very prepared. "Lift safety drills are conducted regularly, and our team acted swiftly and appropriately, following their training, to come to the aid of this child," a PR representative for The Highlands said.
After the crew had the mat in place, the mother was instructed to let go of the child. She was hesitant, but did so, and the child fell safely onto the mat. The girl did not sustain any injuries in the incident.
A PR representative from the Highlands of Harbor Springs confirmed that there was an incident on Sunday, saying "a team of lift operators immediately came to the child’s aid and using a deceleration mat, safely assisted the child down." A ski patroller then rode up with the child on the chairlift to reunite the child with their mother, a happy ending for all involved.
The heroic ski lift operators who were instrumental in the rescue were all given tokens of appreciation from resort management for their swift and instinctive response.