Kīhei Woman Survives 60 Foot Fall at ʻĪao Valley

July 18, 2016, 8:43 AM HST · Updated July 18, 11:47 AM
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File photo of Maui's 'Iao Valley - a popular visitor destination. By Wendy Osher.

File photo of Maui’s ‘Iao Valley – a popular visitor destination. By Wendy Osher.

A 25-year-old Kīhei woman survived a 60-foot fall at ʻĪao Valley on Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to a call of a female that reportedly fell off a cliff in the ʻĪao Valley area at 4:36 p.m. on Sunday, July 17, 2016.

Wailuku firefighters met with the caller, a Makawao woman, who was parked on ʻĪao Valley Road just above the Hawaiʻi Nature Center.

The woman said she and her friend were walking along a trail off of the roadway when her friend slipped, slid down an embankment and disappeared over the edge of a cliff into the stream.

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Fire officials say the woman called out to her, but could not see her anymore nor hear her respond back.

Firefighters made their way down the slope and found the Kīhei woman at the bottom of a steep 50 to 60 foot slope. According to department reports, the last 20 feet was a vertical drop to the bank of the stream.

The victim was conscious and complained of pain to her leg and back.

Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said crews stabilized the woman’s injuries and packaged her in a rescue basket so she could be hauled up the cliff by a high angle rope raising system.

It took about 16 personnel from fire, police, and State DLNR Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement officers to pull the woman back up the cliff to ʻĪao Valley Road, said Taomoto.

Air 1 was not able to assist in the rescue because of heavy rain and a dense tree canopy.

At around 6 p.m., the Kīhei woman was transferred to paramedics and taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center in serious condition.

Two engine companies and a rescue crew from Wailuku and Kahului responded to the call.

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