BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- A Southwest Florida man died Monday while performing work on an 714-foot radio tower on the Lee and Collier County line.
The worker has been identified as Nick Rouskey of Cape Coral. His body has been transported to the medical examiner's office where an autopsy will be conducted to determine his cause of death.
Bonita Springs Deputy Chief Frank Giulano says the call came in Monday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. A contracted electrician was at the top of a radio tower, unresponsive.
Giulano says, "It's an extreme situation for the firefighters. We train specifically for a high anle rescue it's called and it only happens a couple times in a guys career but you have to be ready for it."
The victim's grandson tells WINK News his grandfather was at the top of the tower replacing a lightbulb. He says that was around 1:30 Monday afternoon.
Giulano says, "Crews got here at 5:00 and climbed the tower. We discovered he was deseased and at that point it became a body recovery opposed to a rescue. At that point we slowed down, took our time and waited for crime scene people to come."
Four teams of two performed the recovery. They had to cut the power from the tower and divert all air traffic away from the area. "We had guys on the tower and we didn't want them to get electricuted," says Giulano.
Officials don't know who called 911 but believe it was the man's grandson who was on the ground while his grandfather worked in the tour.
The radio tower is located off Old U.S. 41 and Channel 30 Radio Rd. Meridian Broadcasting rents space on the tower for Fox News 92.5, as do other stations. The station was taken offline for several hours while emergency crews worked to get the man down.
Investigators say the man was a skilled climber and technician who was authorized to be on the tower. It's unclear what caused his death.