Allegan County

17-year-old rescued 65 feet up in tree near Saugatuck



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A teenager had to be rescued after climbing nearly 65 feet up in a tree near Saugatuck Sunday afternoon.

Around 5:30 p.m., the Graafschap Fire Department was sent to 66th Street between 140th Avenue and 142nd Avenue after a 17-year-old girl climbed a tree and got stuck.

The fire department said the girl was visiting Michigan with her family for spring break and decided to go out for a walk. When she didn’t return, her father went looking for her and found her stuck in a tree.

He tried to climb the tree but the branch broke, so he called 911.

The fire department called the owner of Ax Man Inc. in Saugatuck for assistance.

Christopher Brennan, the owner of Ax Man Inc., was driving with his family when he got the call. He already had climbing gear in his truck for emergencies, which proved to come in handy and possibly saved the life of the 17-year-old girl who was hanging on to a tree. 

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“I get her secure in the belt and get all my rigging gear set and I safely tie her in,” Brennan said. “As I work with the fire department, we work right in tandem. The guys from Graafschap were super on point, easy to work with.”

Brennan said the fire department helped him guide the girl down the tree. He says she was safely suspended to the ground and then he made his way out of the tree next.

“She was just like, ‘I was kind of adventuring and then I got up to this point,’ and at the end of the day I was like, ‘You made the honest right call,'” Brennan said. “That could have ended badly and I am happy to help.” 

Brennan said the rescue was completed in a little under an hour. 

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