Honolulu fire rescue crews airlift injured hiker out of Kaaawa

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UPDATE:  The 23-year old woman who was hiking on the Puu Manamana Trail Saturday morning and taken to the hospital in serious condition was pronounced dead just after 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

A young woman died after she fell 300 feet off a hiking trail.

It happened just before noon today in Windward Oahu on the  Puu Manamana trail better known as Crouching Lions.

One of the hikers, a 23-year-old woman visiting from Georgia, lost her footing and tumbled down a steep cliff.

A group of three hikers were making their way back in an area they describe as a flat ridge with loose soil when one of them lost her footing.

“She stepped and mis-stepped and tumbled down. We couldn’t see her because it was so steep. We saw her fall about 100 feet and then she just disappeared and we couldn’t talk to her,” described Aaron McClendon, one of the hikers in the group, who had been on this trail before.

That’s when they called for help.

“Rescue workers got to her she had fallen about 300 feet off the Puu Manamana trail,” Honolulu Fire Capt. Ah Mook Sang said.

The 300 feet is about as tall as the Sheraton Waikiki.

Firefighters say she landed in an area that was difficult for them to get to, and it is covered by trees and a steep 60 degree angle hillside.

After making several trips loading up a backboard and additional rescue supplies, they were able to carry her to a safer area.

“Once they packaged her they moved her up to an area that was clearer and the winds were a bit of an issue for he helicopter getting in,” explained Sang.

Air one was then able to bring her to Swanzy Beach Park in Kaaawa where an ambulance was standing by.

“She suffered serious injuries to her lower extremities and her back,” said Sang.

Her friends who had just made it down the mountain on their own were eager to get to her side.

“They took her to Queens. We’re going to check on her,” said McClendon.

Avid hikers of the trail say she is lucky to have survived that fall.

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