TERRIFYING video taken by a woman’s GoPro camera shows the moment she falls 50ft down a waterfall in Hawaii.
Heather Friesen can be seen walking close to the edge of the rocks before she loses her footing and tumbles down, cheating death but sustaining horrific injuries including 10 broken ribs.
The beach volleyball pro said time stood still as she fell[/caption]
The 26-year-old was out hiking on the Ka’au Crater Trail with some friends from the University of Hawaii when they stopped at the waterfall.
In the footage, you can see her feet moving to the edge as she says “whoa” in admiration.
But suddenly she loses her footing and you can hear her scream as she tumbles down the cliff then hit the water below.
The camera captures her struggling to get to the surface as she begins to groan in agony.
Her legs can be seen thrashing about underwater but she eventually she manages to make it to the surface and cling onto to some rocks at the side.
The voice of a man who has come to help her can be heard and he comes into shot carrying her backpack.
Heather, who is now a successful beach volleyball player, recently spoke to the In the World of Female Sports podcast about her life, including the accident.
She said the turned the GoPro on “a couple of seconds” before the fall.
“The hike has waterfalls and we were on the first waterfall and I was up at the top trying to look over the edge and I got too close and I ended up slipping,” she said.
‘TIME SLOWED DOWN’
“You can see there’s little trickle of water that was in the shadow that I didn’t really see.”
Heather said as she fell, she tried to grab onto rocks and kept telling herself “it’s going to be fine”.
“The things I was thinking about when I was falling, it’s the whole cliché that time slows down,” she said.
As she fell she said her concern was to protect the arm she serves with in volleyball and then that her family and boyfriend – now her husband – would be worried.
“I was thinking about all these things as I was falling,” she said.
Heather said she hit water that was about 3ft deep and that “you’re not meant to jump into it or you will die”.
As well as broken ribs she also sustained a collapsed lung, a fractured scapula, and some deep wounds.
Though her “friends were freaking out that I was going to die” she said she knew she was going to make it.
As she was airlifted to hospital she thought about her Christian faith and group of friends from her church, who were coincidentally out hiking turned up and began praying for her.
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“When I was on the helicopter being airlifted out, it was the most peaceful moment of my life,” she said.
“I kept repeating to myself God’s got me I’m going to be ok and that I’m going to play volleyball again.”
A video of the 2016 accident has now emerged on YouTube and Heather describes the accident “as the fall that changed my life forever”.
“I found out there had been others before me who fell from the same spot and died, and I know that God saved my life that day.”
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