Capture the flag

By Kathy Schaerer

A Canadian flag disappeared from the crane at the Information Communications Technology building site near the Engineering block last Friday.

"The people who reported it say there was evidence of the flag being cut and claim it was firmly tied down to prevent it blowing away," said Lanny Fritz, head of Campus Security.

The flag is presumed to have been stolen, and there is fear of the potential danger the climb could have entailed.

"It’s a real concern. There’s the potential for death or injury," said Fritz. "The area is fenced off, in fact they’ve gone to great lengths to make sure the area is safe… [but] someone took his life into his own hands."
The daring thief or thieves must have climbed quite a height to acquire the flag.

"We believe it’s about 205 feet above ground," said Fritz.

The potential danger of climbing a crane depends on a lot of factors, explained Albi Sole, director of the climbing division at the University of Calgary,

"Cranes are designed to be climbed," said Sole. "If you make a mistake, you’re going to go ‘splat’; but I’ve done it, I used to do it for a living."

Cranes are equipped with a ladder so the crane operator can scale them.

The danger factor was likely a lot greater since the thief scaled the crane in the dark, possibly as a part of a prank or dare.

"[As well], it would be quite a bit more dangerous if they were intoxicated," said Sole.

There are no leads as to the identity of the flag-napper, but as Sole put it, "there’s no blood at the bottom so I guess they’re OK."

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