Crews retrieve body after fatal fall


POSTED: Monday, February 02, 2009

Rescue crews recovered yesterday the body of a goat hunter who fell 100 feet to his death from a ridge in Makaha.

; Gaps in cell phone coverage hampered crews as they responded to a distress call from the hunter's partner, who had to hike to the ridge top more than once for better reception, officials said.

The victim, 41, was not identified yesterday.

The man was hunting with a friend in the upper part of Keaau near Makua Valley when he fell off a ridge and landed on a ledge about 100 feet below, according to Honolulu Fire Capt. Robert Main.

Rescue personnel had a difficult time locating the man after receiving a call at 10:10 a.m. from his hunting partner, according to Main.

“;It took a while finding the man because it's a very remote area,”; Main said. “;The cell phone reception in that area is bad, so his partner had to keep running to the top of the ridge to contact us. It wasn't an easy rescue effort.”;

Once firefighters located the man, they used a helicopter to lift him to the former First Hawaiian Bank recreation center, off Keaau Homestead Road, where they were met by a representative of the Medical Examiner's Office, which is expected to perform an autopsy.

The man was pronounced dead at 11:26 a.m., according to Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for Honolulu Emergency Services.