Rescuers describe relief at spotting missing Hawaii hiker

By the Associated Press

WAILUKU, Hawaii — Three volunteer rescuers who found a hiker more than two weeks after she disappeared in a Hawaii forest described their elation and relief after spotting her near a waterfall in deep vegetation.

In this Friday, May 24, 2019, photo provided by Troy Jeffrey Helmer, resident Amanda Eller, second from left, poses for a photo after being found by searchers, Javier Cantellops, far left, Helmer and Chris Berquist above the Kailua reservoir in East Maui, Hawaii, on Friday afternoon. The men spotted Eller from a helicopter and went down to retrieve her. She was taken to the hospital and was in good spirits, her family said. Eller had been missing since May 8. (Troy Jeffrey Helmer via AP / MANILA BULLETIN)
In this Friday, May 24, 2019, photo provided by Troy Jeffrey Helmer, resident Amanda Eller, second from left, poses for a photo after being found by searchers, Javier Cantellops, far left, Helmer and Chris Berquist above the Kailua reservoir in East Maui, Hawaii, on Friday afternoon.  (Troy Jeffrey Helmer via AP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Javier Cantellops, Chris Berquist and Troy Helmers said Monday that they saw Amanda Eller from a helicopter Friday, 17 days after the 35-year-old physical therapist and yoga instructor went for hike on a Maui trail.

When they saw her, Helmers says he was in disbelief anybody would be hiking in the area. Berquist told CBS that they were “crying and screaming and laughing” when they reached her.

Cantellops told the “Today” show that “wrapping my arms around her was the greatest moment I can say about my life.”

Eller broke her leg and got a skin infection and severe sunburn but says in a Facebook video from her hospital bed that she “chose life.”

READ MORE: US hiker found after two weeks lost in Hawaii forest

 
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