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Park search and rescue workers lift a man to safety after he fell 115 feet. Photo courtesy of National Park Service.

Hawaii National Park, Hawai’i –– Foliage and a park visitor’s intuition may have saved a Micronesian man’s life after he fell an estimated 115 feet down a cliff in a national park in Hawaii.

“Luckily, he landed in a dense thicket of native ‘uluhe fern, which broke his fall,” said John Broward, search and rescue coordinator for Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

According to National Park Service officials, Harry Osachy, 73, of Kurtistown, fell after climbing over a barrier behind Volcano House sometime Monday and spent the night stranded. On Tuesday afternoon, a woman heard his cries for help coming from vegetation along Halema’uma’u Trail, which is directly below the hotel. Although she first thought it was a prank, she notified park staff.

A helicopter lowered Broward into the area, and he found Osachy with shoulder and pelvis injuries and suffering from dehydration, according to park officials. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center.

It is the thirteenth search and rescue mission at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park this year. Last year, park crews responded to a total of 26 incidents.

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