Amanda Eller, 35, was found alive on Friday after spending 17 days missing following a hike in the Makawao Forest Reserve on the island of Maui.
Following her disappearance on May 8, rescuers began to search the forest. She was reported missing on May 9, and her car was found in a parking lot at the reserve when a joint search and rescue effort by multiple agencies began, CNN reported.
Maui Police and Fire eventually called off the search, and Eller’s friends and family then hired a private helicopter that was paid for through donations on a GoFundMe page, People said.
Eller was found on Friday when that same helicopter spotted her between two waterfalls, shoe-less and waving her arms. Javier Cantellops, one of the men responsible for finding her, said she had lost about 15 pounds, CNN reported. (RELATED: Hiker Saved From Mountain Lion By Bear He ‘Befriended’)
“I think she took a good fall,” John Eller, Amanda’s father, told Maui 24/7. “They found her in a deep ravine, basically unable to get out, as I understand it.”
Eller was evacuated and taken to a local hospital, according to a Facebook page set up to help find her. Julia Eller, Amanda’s mother, said that her daughter had a fractured leg but was in “surprisingly good shape,” KHON 2 said. She did have some cuts and severe sun exposure.
Cantellops said that Eller’s resourcefulness helped her stay alive. She survived on berries and guava for two weeks, according to People. She drank water from the waterfall, but stopped after it rained to avoid getting sick from possible run-off.
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