September 20, 2006
Lee County -- A well-known South Georgia Law enforcement officer
underwent surgery again Wednesday afternoon for injuries he suffered
in a hunting accident.
Thursday Frank Herndon fell and hung upside down from a tree
climber for an hour and a half. As hunting season opens experts urge
hunters to use proper safety equipment and extreme caution.
Many people know Frank Herndon as one of the Albany Police's
original "HEAT Officers". He recently went to work for the Lee
County Sheriff's Office.
Thursday Herndon was seriously injured in a hunting accident,
when his tree climber slipped on a wet tree. Without a safety
harness, Herndon hung upside down by his legs 20 feet off the ground
for an hour and a half before he was found. Now he is suffering leg
and internal injuries. Department of Natural Resources Sgt. Jeff
Swift said "Falls from deer stands account for roughly fifty percent
of our hunting accidents annually."
During archery deer season, most hunters climb trees, presenting
the biggest danger factor. Solo Archery owner Evy Sifford said "More
than half of the bow hunters will climb rather than do a lock on."
Rangers urge all hunters to use a Safety System when climbing.
They feature a full vest that supports your entire upper torso, and
a safety strap that breaks away slowly to lower you. Evy said
"Whether you climb up 15 foot or 20 foot, you are still that high
off the ground. You need to wear a safety harness. A good one."
Herndon was not wearing his safety harness. Many hunters just use
a waist strap, but Rangers urge you to get a modern harness unit, to
prevent injury or death. Evy said "It might be a little bit of
money. That particular system costs 100 dollars. But is your life
not worth 100 dollars."
Rangers also urge hunters to team up, and hunt with a buddy, so
if there is a problem, there will be someone there to get help.
Herndon underwent another surgery Wednesday afternoon on his
legs. He is expected to make a full recovery.