Crash or collision
Hiker Survives 40ft Fall at the Waipio Valley Thanks to the ResQLink 410 RLS
Posted on November 1, 2023 by Mitchell
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.
49PJ+3F Kukuihaele, HI, USA
Local Search and Rescue
ResQLink™ 410 RLSGo to product details
- 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