Hiker survives 150-foot fall off Olomana trail

Published On: Jul 08 2014 07:56:02 PM HST
KAILUA, Hawaii -

After falling 150 feet off one of the Olomana peaks, a hiker lives to tell his rescue story.

Click here to watch Ashley Moser's report.

Hiker Robert Davis and a friend made it past all three peaks of Olomana trail, but it wasn't until their decent that the pair ran into trouble.

"I had overstepped my right foot to the right of the path. Before I knew it I was going over the side," said Davis.

He fell between the second and third peak of the trail, but hit a tree that stopped his fall.

"Had I fallen 10 feet before that or ten feet after that, I wouldn't be here right now," said Davis.

He says he was in and out of consciousness, but was able to fight the urge of falling asleep. Davis says he established contact with his hiking buddy and waited for rescue crews to respond to his cries for help.

"I heard someone yelling my name, 'Rob!' and it wasn't a voice I was familiar with," said Davis.

It was a Honolulu firefighter being lowered to Davis' location. Crews used the chopper to lift him off the mountain and down to safety.

"As I was lowered down, my body became flat again and that hurt quite a lot," said Davis.

The pain came from a partially collapsed lung, broken rib, two fractured vertebrae and a sprained ankle, along with multiple cuts and bruises.

Davis spent 40 hours in the intensive care unit and was remarkably released just 13 days later.

Fire officials say not all hikers are as lucky Davis.

Back in January, off duty firefighter Mitch Kai died after falling near that same spot on the trail. That day it was raining off and on, conditions fire officials urge hikers to avoid.

"Being aware of your surroundings and the environment is key to being safe," said David Jenkins of the Honolulu Fire Department.

Jenkins says hikers usually push themselves past their limits.

"If you feel you're in a precarious position and you can no longer go safely up or down, of course you should always call for help," said Jenkins.

As for getting back out there, Davis says he won't let this experience stop him.

"I'm not going to shy away from future hikes. I am certainly not going to shy away from Olomana trail again," said Davis.

Fire officials say there were 150 high ground rescues in 2013.

This year's a total of 82; that number is on pace to be higher than last year.


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