Once in a while, you get far more than you expect from a piece of gear. On Saturday, I used my tripod to help save a life.
I was happy to have purchased Induro’s C214 Carbon 8X CT-Series tripod during Photoshop World Boston back in March. I have found the C214 to be lightweight, sturdy, reliable, and most importantly, affordable! Combined with the Induro DM12 ballhead, I have a budget minded gem of a tripod, just right for my mid-sized SLR rig.
This weekend, though, I got my money’s worth and more from my Induro. My wife and I joined my parents in the mountains of northern Georgia, land of a thousand waterfalls. It being the peak weekend for fall foliage in that area, we were taking in the scenery and visited some of the local waterfalls as well, including Helton Creek Falls near Blairsville, GA. I was able to capture some nice pictures such as the one below:
Now, Helton Creek has a two-tier cascade, and there are stairs to get up up the first level (shown in the photo) to view the second cascade. From there, it is also possible to look down over the first level, and it is breathtaking with the water hurling by and pounding over the falls. To give an idea of the magnitude, here’s a magnified section of the image above. If you look closely, you can see a man standing near the top:
We were up near the area where you see the man standing, and a tourist had ventured out onto the rocks to snap a few pictures upstream. As I looked on from the edge, I saw him slip, his feet went out from under him, and he began sliding over the edge!
It is amazing the way time slows, and the number of thoughts that can go through your head in a moment’s time. I recall thinking there was no way to get to him, and he was going over – and would surely be killed on the rocks below. He went over the first ledge and I thought that was it, momentum would carry him onward.
Somehow, through, he managed to catch a foothold on the next (last) ledge down, and kept from going over. He was still standing on slippery rocks, water rushing by, and 2-3 feet to climb up the rocks to get back to safety. Several people started to hedge towards the rocks to make an attempt to reach a helping hand, but the footing was too treacherous, and the distance too great. Fortunately, I was there with my tripod, already fully extended, and was able to stand in the relative safety of the bank and offer him the end of the tripod. He grabbed it, I pulled him up, and aside from being shaken up (and likely having a bruised backside) he was fine.
All’s well that ends well, but what a nerve-wracking experience! I’m glad I was there to help, thankful I had the Induro tripod, and relieved that it is made a solid and sturdy as it is. A life depended on it.