Maui Fire Department rescue crews were extremely busy today. Their first major call came at 12:45 p.m. when Hana firefighters, the Air 1 rescue helicopter, and Rescue 10 from Kahului were called to the trail leading to Red Sands beach for a hiker that fell over the side of a cliff. Hana fire crews arrived 10 minutes later and found a 68 year-old female laying on the shoreline below the trail. She had been hiking with friends and fell about 25 feet onto the rocks below.
The woman, a visitor from San Diego, CA sustained serious injuries to her head, arms and hips. Firefighters packaged the woman in a rescue basket, then used the Fire Dept.’s Air 1 helicopter to airlift her to the Hana Ball Park. From there, the victim was transferred to a waiting Maui Medevac helicopter and transported by air to Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Almost exactly one hour later, at 1:45 p.m., Wailuku firefighters were called for a man found exhausted, on the shoreline near milepost 5, off of Kahekili Highway in Waihee. Wailuku firefighters were not able to get to the man, who was at the bottom of an estimated 100 foot sheer cliff. The Fire Dept.’s Air 1 helicopter with a Kahului rescue crew onboard, was on their way back from an earlier rescue at Red Sands beach in Hana, when they were redirected to Waihee to assist.
Three divers who were spearfishing in the area happened upon the man. They saw him waving for help and were able to call 911 with a cell phone they had with them in the water.
Air 1 inserted two rescue firefighters by long line to get to the man. The 41 year-old Wailuku man was found exhausted and with minor injuries. The man said he had been stuck at the bottom of the cliff since yesterday, but did not elaborate how he got there. He was packaged in a rescue basket and airlifted to a landing zone set up on Kahekili Highway. He was transported by ground ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.