A Lewiston woman died Saturday after falling down a waterfall in Franklin County.

How Did She Fall?

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spokesman Mark Latti says the incident happened at approximately 4:30 Saturday afternoon. 29-year-old Tanisha Barry was in the water above Smalls Falls with a friend, when she got too close to the edge. Witnesses told authorities that Barry stumbled and, before she could regain her footing, fell about 30 feet down the falls.

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One of her friends climbed down to try and rescue her, but couldn't find her in the turbulent water at the base of the falls. When he was unable to locate her, he drove to an area with cellphone reception and called 911. He then returned to the area near the falls.

How Did Rescuers Reach Her?

Responding to the scene were members of the Maine Warden Service, Rangeley Fire and Rescue, Phillips Fire and Rescue, Strong Fire and Rescue, and Franklin County Search and Rescue. It was determined that the only way to reach the woman was to rappel down the rocks, to the base of the falls. Rescuers located her and had to use ropes to safely recover her body, which was then carried up the cliff walls, utilizing ropes and a litter.

An autopsy is planned by the State Medical Examiner's Office.

We'll update this story as more details become available. 

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