Rescued skydiver’s mom: ‘I’m sure she’s going to jump again’

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Amber Gandolfo (center) is brought down safely by Manorville firefighters after she and her skydiving instructor (right) became trapped in a tree.

Susan Gandolfo of Massapequa Park wasn’t there when her 25-year-old daughter, Amber, went skydiving for the first time Tuesday afternoon.

She only heard about what happened when her daughter called about 7 p.m., after she had been plucked from a tree in Calverton by local firefighters and was safe on the ground.

“She’s alright and that’s what’s important,” Ms. Gandolfo said.

Amber Gandolfo and her skydiving instructor were caught in a sudden storm as they were jumping. The gusting winds blew them and the four other tandem teams off course. And while the other teams scattered safely in fields, the duo became trapped in a tree 30 feet off the ground on Grumman Boulevard, just south of a string of power lines.

Manorville firefighters received the call about 6:30 p.m., fire officials said, and used a ladder truck to cut away branches to free the pair. The duo was pulled into a ladder truck’s basket about 7 p.m., and though Ms. Gandolfo was smiling on the way down, she burst into tears once she reached the ground.

She was treated at the scene for minor injuries to her leg – “a few scratches,” her mother said – but refused medical transport, according to local police.

Her mother said Amber was just in the wrong place in the wrong time.

“It was just the wind that took her,” Ms. Gandolfo said. “Just Mother Nature.”

She joked that the incident has made her daughter “famous,” and that Amber was unavailable because she was bungie-jumping.

A witness to the incident said Tuesday that he didn’t think Amber would be skydiving anytime soon, but Ms. Gandolfo doesn’t think the unusual incident will slow her daughter down.

“I’m sure she’s going to jump again,” she said.

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PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Manorville firefighters work to free two skydivers, including a first-timer, who were trapped in a tree Tuesday afternoon in Calverton.