Hiker Survives 40ft Fall at the Waipio Valley Thanks to the ResQLink 410 RLS



Survivor Stories


Hiker Survives 40ft Fall at the Waipio Valley Thanks to the ResQLink 410 RLS

Hiker Survives 40ft Fall at the Waipio Valley Thanks to the ResQLink 410 RLS
Lives saved






Crash or collision

Crash or collision

Challenging Terrain

Challenging Terrain


Hiker Survives 40ft Fall at the Waipio Valley Thanks to the ResQLink 410 RLS

20.135243523367°N, -155.61878204248°W

Posted on November 1, 2023 by Mitchell

What happened?

On the 13th of September in 2023, at about 4 AM, our group of seven adventurers embarked on a journey to conquer the Waipio Valley, the starting point of our grueling trek to the Waimanu Valley trail on the Big Island. We had been forewarned that this was no ordinary hike, but rather the most challenging one the island had to offer. Undeterred, we made our way across the river, setting our sights on the demanding z-trail that lay ahead.

The beginning of our expedition saw us making excellent progress as we conquered the z-trail, reaching its zenith without significant setbacks. However, our luck took an unfortunate turn when a heavy downpour rendered the trail even more treacherous.

Despite the adverse conditions, we soldiered on, pushing forward until we reached the third gulch, where we had planned to replenish our water supply. Little did I know that this pit stop would become a pivotal moment in our journey.

As we took off our heavy backpacks, Todd – one of our group members and now friend – made a grave mistake by accidentally placing his back pack a little too close to the edge of the gulch. Leaving it unattended for a brief moment to fetch water, the pack tumbled into the abyss, plummeting approximately 50 feet down the rugged terrain.

Our predicament was dire; our plans had included a four-day camping expedition, and the lost pack held our essential supplies – food, our tent, and the sleeping pad. Determined to retrieve it, Todd began his descent, slipping and sliding down the steep incline. Thankfully, he was able to reach the backpack, but the real challenge laid in scaling the steep incline back up with a now-soaked, 33-pound burden.

Clinging to the slope, he searched for secure handholds and places to anchor the pack. Inch by inch, he ascended, eventually reaching the halfway point of the treacherous climb. Then, calamity struck as the branch he depended on for support gave way. His body plummeted approximately 40 feet to the rocky bottom, landing on his back near the pool at the base of a waterfall.

Miraculously, he escaped with his life intact, bearing nothing more than an assortment of bumps and bruises, as we would later discover at the hospital.

Meanwhile, his wife, unaware of the extent of his injuries, took a crucial step to ensure his rescue. She activated my ACR ResQLink 410 PLB I had brought with us, a beacon of hope in this darkest hour. The call for help echoed through the wilderness, alerting the search and rescue teams.

Their arrival was nothing short of a miracle, as we were stranded in a remote and challenging landscape, far removed from the reaches of cellular service. Realizing the urgency of the situation, they wasted no time. A helicopter quickly began to descend. Expert hands reached down and pulled him to safety, a testament to the bravery and skill of the search and rescue team.

We were whisked away to safety, leaving behind the wilderness that could’ve become a final resting place. The ResQLink PLB, our lifeline to the outside world, had played a pivotal role in this rescue. It served as a reminder that even in the most unforgiving and unpredictable environments, there are trained and alert professionals prepared to extend a helping hand.

My gratitude to ACR remains immeasurable, for without it, Todd’s well being would not have been assured and the story just told could’ve ended as a tragic memory.

Thank you ACR!!!!!!!!

Words of wisdom

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst

Thank you note


Although it wasn’t me that required the rescue.  I am very happy that I lent it to my good friends for the hike that day.  Without a way of communicating to anyone without hiking out the ResQlink provided not only a quick rescue, but peace of mind to Todd’s wife, knowing that help was on the way.


Rescue location

49PJ+3F Kukuihaele, HI, USA

Rescue team

Local Search and Rescue

ResQLink™ 410 RLS

Go to product details


Small but resilient, the ResQLink 410 RLS has been professionally engineered and tested to ensure it can withstand even the harshest elements. This buoyant Personal Locator Beacon requires no subscription for use and with the inclusion of the new Return Link Service (RLS) feature, this ACR beacon provides you with the comfort in knowing that your distress message has been received and your location detected.   Features and Benefits:  
  • No Subscription Required
  • Return Link Service (RLS) Functionality
  • GPS | Galileo GNSS
  • Built-In Buoyancy
  • Strobe and Infrared Strobe
  • Global Coverage
  • MEOSAR Compatible
  • Small and lightweight
  • 5 year battery life
  • 24+ hours Operational Life**
  • Multifunction Clip System Included
  **Based on test report from accredited laboratory   WARNING: PROP 65
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