Man dies in Na Pali fall

Rescue personnel recovered the body of a 61-year-old Kaua‘i man yesterday at the bottom of a waterfall on the Na Pali Coast near Koke‘e.

Sources close to the man said he told a friend of his plans to hike atop Miloli‘i Ridge Saturday and that he intended to return before dark.

At press time, the man’s family had not yet been notified so his name was not released.

According to fire officials, a witness called Inter-Island Helicopters at around 10:15 a.m. yesterday.

The caller yesterday morning said a private search had been conducted for the man, who had been missing since Saturday night. The caller asked for the company’s assistance yesterday with locating the man while doing their helicopter tours.

Inter-Island Helicopters called police dispatch, which teamed up with the fire department.

Firefighters from the Waimea station, rescue specialists from the Lihu‘e station, and officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources drove up to Koke‘e. They set up a base camp at the trailhead on Miloli‘i Ridge Road and prepared to conduct a search for him.

The Kaua‘i Rescue Team, which happened to be conducting training exercises in Hanapepe at the time the call came through, also dispatched to the scene.

Upon learning that the man had been located at the bottom of the falls, fire officials called Air One and arranged for assistance.

Rescue specialists boarded the helicopter from the landing area near the Koke‘e Lodge and flew to where the man had been spotted. Upon their arrival, they found that the man had fallen off of a 300-foot waterfall.

A long line leader was set up by rescuers and the victim was airlifted out of the area.

Because of the treacherous terrain, it took more than an hour for the retrieval to be completed.

The man is the third hiker to die on Kaua‘i this year.

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