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Firefighters happen to be in the right place to aid downed paraglider

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Firefighters who were at Makapuu for a possible hazardous materials case today were on hand to treat a paraglider injured during a hard landing nearby.

Fire Capt. Terry Seelig said a mainland visitor in his 30s had a hard landing 6:45 p.m. Tuesday when he attempted to land in an unimproved parking lot on the Waimanalo side of Makapuu.

Firefighters treated the man for his leg injury and carried him to the parking lot where an ambulance picked him up and transported him to a hospital.

The man was in stable condition. He was unable to walk, with non-life-threatening injuries, Seelig said.

Winds were stiff and gusty, Seelig said. The man was also unfamiliar with the area, exceeded his abilities, came in a little too fast and in the wrong location, he said.

Firefighters had been responding to a 4:50 p.m. call for a 55-gallon blue polypropylene drum that had washed ashore at Makapuu Beach.

Fire personnel conferred with the Coast Guard and the Health Department and determined it was sealed, did not appear to be hazardous and was not leaking. The drum was moved to a secure position, and a contractor will remove it Wednesday.

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