Massachusetts Visitor Dies Falling from Cliff

PO`IPU, KAUA`I (Ben Caxton) — A 64-year-old visitor from Massachusetts, Karen Smith, died on Wednesday around 10:00 AM after slipping and falling from a cliff while hiking north of Shipwreck Beach in Po`ipu. The name of the location where she was reported to have fallen is a fishing spot known as “High Cliff.” According to a preliminary report, a bystander witnessed the incident and ran to get help at Shipwreck Beach. Before rescue personnel arrived, a firefighter on vacation from Canada, who was at Shipwreck Beach, ran to the cliff with a set of fins and spotted the woman in the ocean and unresponsive. He hiked down the cliff’s edge to reach the water and swam out to the victim. While he was doing so, another bystander retrieved a rescue tube from Shipwreck Beach and threw it towards them in the water to help them stay afloat. A short time later Kaua`i Fire Department personnel arrived on scene and proceeded down the face of the cliff to reach the victim who had suffered significant head injuries. She was eventually taken to shore by jet ski where waiting AMR medics and Koloa firefighters began administering CPR. Advanced resuscitation efforts continued while in transport to Wilcox Hospital, but the woman could not be revived and she was pronounced dead by a medical doctor. An autopsy is scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.

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