Texting woman falls off Kodiak cliff, rescued

A Kodiak woman is in an Anchorage hospital recovering in an Anchorage hospital after she fell off a 60-foot beach cliff near downtown Kodiak. A friend who heard her screams found her and called rescuers, reports the Kodiak Daily Mirror (subscription required).

By the time the Kodiak Fire Department got to [Maria] Pestrikoff, the tide was coming in. Rescuers had to act quickly - she was only about 10 feet from the water's edge.

"The incoming tide was a factor to consider with regard to expediting the patient's lift and removal from the beach so as to not introduce cold water hypothermia as another factor influencing her injuries," [Fire Chief Rome] Kamai said.

Pestrikoff had multiple injuries from the fall, but was stabilized and placed in a rolled stretcher for the lift. She was then hauled up the cliff and transported in an ambulance to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center.

How did Pestrikoff manage to fall off the cliff?

Pestrikoff was texting and trying to toss a cigarette butt over the cliff when she slipped on the wet grass and fell over the edge.

In a letter to the Daily Mirror, her friend Anthony Burke thanked rescuers and wrote, "Lesson learned -- don't leave the gate open, don't text message and smoke cigarettes on a slippery bluff with a long drop to the rocks."