The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call at 8:10 p.m. for lost hikers on the Kaau Crater Trail in Palolo. Four resource units, staffed with 12 personnel, responded to the rescue call. The first fire fighters arrived at the Palolo District Park to secure a landing zone for Air 1 at 8:17 p.m. With 16% battery capacity left on their cell phone, the 911 caller’s geolocation plotted them at about 1.25 mile from the trail’s entrance. Air 1, with rescue specialists onboard as spotters, proceeded to the geolocation and began searching by air. The two males and one female who were hiking from 3:00 p.m., lost their way near the third waterfall on the trail when dusk arrived. Air 1 was able to locate the group and insert rescue specialists to package them for extraction. All three hikers were airlifted individually to the landing zone located nearby at the Palolo District Park at 9:38 p.m. No medical attention was needed. All HFD personnel were accounted for with no reports of injuries.
The HFD urges the public to hike safely and provides the following safety tips:
• Start Exiting the Trail Well Before Sunset
Know what time the sun sets and allow enough time to exit well before dusk arrives. In case of an emergency, including injury, it helps rescuers locate you quicker.
• Bring Your Cell Phone, Flashlight, Foul Weather Clothing, Whistle
In case of an emergency your cell phone can be a lifesaver. Ensure that your battery is full prior to your hike. We recommend packing an external back-up battery source.