A scary scenario at Sundance Resort in Utah was caught on camera Wednesday when a boy skiing with his family got caught on a ski lift, prompting a tense rescue as the boy screamed frantically for help.
The incident occurred when the boy's backpack became stuck as he was trying to exit the ski lift at one of the resort's stations, leaving him dangling from the chair as it continued up the mountain.
Phil Warner, who filmed the rescue, told KTLA sister station KSTU in Salt Lake City that he had come to Sundance to go skiing with his daughters when the boy in the chair behind him got caught.
"I just heard screaming, 'help, help, help,'" said Warner.
In the video, Warner can be heard trying to keep the boy calm as rescue workers tried to figure out how to bring him down safely. The lift was brought to a halt as employees worked to resolve the situation.
"The lift operator did a good job stopping the lift as soon as he could," Warner said.
The ski lift operator called on the radio for help and within minutes, ski patrol arrived to assess the situation.
"There was someone on the ground talking to him the whole time, and I was trying to keep him calm too," Warner said.
Ski patrol personnel quickly realized they needed a ladder, but as he waited, the young boy became more and more frightened, he recalled.
"I think he was hurting. I think the backpack was holding his weight on his arms," Warner said.
Once they got the ladder, ski patrol was able to climb up and get the backpack off the boy. Czar Johnson, Director of Mountain Operations at Sundance, said these scenarios do happen every once in a while.
"People get caught up in chairlifts with backpacks and even ski jackets and ski poles and helmets. It does happen," Johnson told the station.
Johnson recommended that skiers and snowboarders should start preparing to unload before it's time to get off the ski lift.
"It's a good idea to check your backpack, move around a little bit, make sure you aren’t caught up on anything before you do unload," he said.
Skiers and snowboarders to avoid carrying extra items like backpacks.
"The lift operators will strongly encourage them to take it off. Ideally, when you do that you would take it off and put it in front of you and put your arms through it in front so your backpack is sitting on your chest," Johnson said.
The young boy managed to walk away without any injuries.
"A lot of things could’ve gone wrong and they didn't," Warner said.