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Woman dies after 150-foot fall from zip line on Maui

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 05:13 p.m. HST, May 01, 2014

A 20-year-old Maui woman died after falling 150 feet from a Maui zip line Thursday morning, authorities said.

The woman, a worker for Piiholo Ranch Zipline, was identified as Patricia "Trish" Rabellizsa.

"The Piiholo Zipline Ohana expresses its condolences and sympathy to those involved in today's tragic event. We especially offer our deepest aloha and prayers to the family and friends of our co-worker Patricia 'Trish' Rabellizsa at this difficult time," the company said on its Facebook page.

"We are working in full cooperation with the Maui Police Department's ongoing investigation."

Piiholo Ranch Zipline offers zip-line tours, treetop canopy tours, and "Xtreme" zip/climb adventure tour.

The Maui Fire Department was called about 9:50 a.m. to the zip-line operation in Upcountry Maui and dispatched crews from Makawao and Kahului and the department's helicopter.

Rescue crews were hampered by difficult terrain in the gulch where the woman fell, according to fire officials, who said that crews hiked to the woman, who was then airlifted up the ridge.

Zip lines send thrill-seekers gliding along cables at speeds approaching 30 mph. They are often in rural areas, usually over tree canopies, and have been growing in popularity, especially on the neighbor islands. 

In 2011, a Hawaii island zip-line tower collapsed because of weak soil, sending Ted Callaway, 36, of Lahaina plunging to his death. The line was being built along Hawaii island's Honolii Stream. Another worker was critically injured in the accident. 

Maui has about a half dozen zip-line attractions.


Mauinow.com reporter Wendy Osher and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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false wrote:
It was just a matter of time before someone fell. Thrill seekers beware!
on May 1,2014 | 03:17PM
lowtone123 wrote:
And they want to start one in the valley above Waipio, please.
on May 1,2014 | 04:19PM
Mallory wrote:
Piiholo Ranch Zipline
on May 1,2014 | 03:18PM
hawaiikone wrote:
So is the state elevator inspection department going to investigate? While an inspector for them a couple of years ago I repeatedly suggested our dept. mandate qualified regular inspections for these types of rides. Go carts, inflatibles, zip lines are all amusement rides, and as such fall under the jurisdiction of the dept of labor's elevator branch. No one wanted to listen then, and as far as I know now nothing has yet been done. Tragedies happen, but a lot are avoidable.
on May 1,2014 | 04:03PM
localguy wrote:
Exactly, these accidents are avoidable. National construction and safety standards for zip lines would be a great start. Then a requirement for HIOSH safety inspectors to receive training on how to inspect for safety would be the next move. Then a requirement for regular and unannounced inspections would work well. Fail an inspection, immediate shut down and fine to the owner.
on May 1,2014 | 04:22PM
hawaiikone wrote:
I suggested that since elevator inspectors have little knowledge of amusement rides that our office grant permits only after receiving successful periodic inspection reports from certified inspectors as well as ongoing proof of adequate liability insurance. If an operator wants to run an amusement ride, they should be required to provide evidence their rides are safe.
on May 1,2014 | 10:30PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Perhaps the dept of labor might want to comment on why my suggestions were ignored? Or why the department still doesn't inspect other rides, such as the water park, or the go cart businesses?
on May 1,2014 | 10:35PM
SueH wrote:
Before every armchair quarter back offers their opinion, let's wait for the facts. Perhaps the accident had nothing at all to do with equipment failure or a breach in safety protocol. Maybe she just slipped out of her harness or was riding in a "thrill seeker" mode or something of the sort. Just because she fell, let's not be "knee jerk" to condemn the operation's hardware or set-up just yet. Maybe other factors are involved.
on May 1,2014 | 06:17PM
false wrote:
No matter what people say those things are dangerous.
on May 1,2014 | 04:27PM
Maunawiliboy wrote:
The story doesn't reveal the cause of the accident. Do not know if the line broke or tower fell or snap became undone, etc. Having some sort of safety and procedure inspection could help, but are there enough inspectors to do that? Or are there even guidelines to follow? Public beware, you are trusting your life with the operators. I'm not saying the business is at fault. Accidents happen. We need to learn from this to prevent it happening again. My condolences to the family.
on May 1,2014 | 07:02PM
aomohoa wrote:
How sad but this article really gives no facts or information what caused the accident. Hopefully there will be a follow up. Was this negligence or did she do something wrong? RIP
on May 1,2014 | 07:47PM
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