DUNEDIN — An artist was stuck suspended in the air Friday afternoon when the motorized pulley system he uses to get up and down a Dunedin water tower failed.
Tom Stovall called the city of Dunedin around 1:30 p.m. to say he could not get down from the Curlew Water Tower, located on Curlew Road near Bayshore Boulevard, according to Sue Burness, the city’s director of communications. The motorized pulley system Stovall uses to get up and down to paint the tower had stopped working, she said.
Burness described the motor-powered pulley system as a contraption with a platform, and a cage surrounding it.
Dunedin Fire Rescue responded and got Stovall down around 3:30 p.m., Burness said. Stovall was uninjured.
“We’re kind of smiling about this, because when we did an interview earlier this week with ABC, he said he loves attention,” she said. “And boy, did today fulfill that for him.”
Curlew Road was blocked between Bayshore Boulevard and County Road 1 for the rescue, Burness said.
Stovall, who has worked on other water towers around Tampa Bay, is painting a mural of two land turtles, named Henry and Sylvia, on the tower. He was in the midst of painting Henry when he got stranded Friday, Burness said. Stovall should have Henry completed around mid-June, and then Sylvia will be next.
Burness is unsure when the mural will be finished, but she suspects afternoon storms and hurricane season may delay its completion.
“It’s a labor of love,” she said.