The Latest VOA Special English
Archive of VOA Special English
Skier Rescues Friend Caught on Chairlift

2017-1-7

This is What's Trending Today.

Mickey Wilson set out to have fun skiing on a Colorado mountain.

But he wound up saving a man's life.

Wednesday night, Wilson used social media to report on his story of rescuing a friend. The images and video were published on Facebook and Instagram. They have been shared thousands of times in the past 24 hours.

Wilson said his friend became caught on a chairlift.

Chairlifts carry people from the bottom of a mountain to its top so they can ski down the hill.

Wilson's friend was wearing a backpack. When it was time for him to get off the chairlift, the backpack became caught and he could not get off. The lift circled around and started bringing him back down the mountain.

The man was hanging from the chairlift, with the bag wrapped around his throat.

Wilson said his friend was not able to breathe.

Other skiers gathered under the man's chair and tried to think of a way to reach him. But they could not get him down.

Wilson had an idea. He climbed up a tall, nearby structure and then climbed across the lift's guide wire to reach his friend. He used a knife to cut the backpack strap that was caught.

His friend fell a little over three meters into the snow, where rescue workers helped revive him. They brought him down the mountain and took him to a hospital.

Wilson told a Denver newspaper it was one of the most frightening things he had ever seen.

Wilson said he was confident he could help his friend because of his experience as a competitive slackliner.

Slacklining is an acrobatic activity where a person balances and does tricks on a narrow strap tied down at both ends.

And that's What's Trending Today.

I'm Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

What do you think of Wilson's daring rescue? Let us know in the comments section.

______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

backpack – n. a bag for carrying things that has two shoulder straps and is carried on the back

strap – n. a narrow and usually flat piece of a material that is used for fastening, holding together, or wrapping something

revive – v. to make (someone or something) strong, healthy, or active again

confident – adj. having a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something : having confidence

acrobatic – adj. used to describe a difficult and dangerous act

skiing – n. the sport of sliding and jumping on skis