The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call at 11:40 this morning from a hiker in distress at the Puʻu Piei Trail in Kaaawa. Four HFD units, staffed with 12 personnel, responded. The first unit arrived at the scene at 11:51 a.m., established command and four fire fighters began ascending the trail on foot while the incident commander established a landing zone at the nearby Kahana State Park.
A 29-year-old male, who had been hiking alone and went off the trail, called 911 in distress because he was stuck on a ledge with a 20-foot drop into a ravine. Due to the poor connection in that particular area, the hiker’s calls kept dropping, but he reported that he was uninjured. The fire dispatcher instructed him to stay in place because the HFD was on its way to rescue him.
The four fire fighters, who hiked in about a mile and a half, made contact with the hiker at 12:19 p.m. by listening for his voice to pinpoint his location. Air 2 transported two rescue personnel over to the area, lowered them onto the ledge where one rescuer packaged the hiker and then Air 2 airlifted the hiker with the rescuer to the landing zone. The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) was waiting for the hiker at the landing zone because his sister had reported him missing. The HPD asked the hiker a few questions then he got into his car and drove away.
Air 2 airlifted all remaining HFD personnel from the trail to the landing zone. All HFD personnel accounted for, no reported injuries and this incident was cleared at 1:48 p.m.
The HFD urges the public to plan before hiking and follow these safety tips:
Hike with a Partner
It is safer to hike with another person. If hiking alone, tell someone where you are planning to hike and what time you are starting your hike.
Bring a Cellular Phone
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.
Get Information about the Trail
Learn about the trail you intend to hike so you will know the route, where to start and the degree of difficulty. When you get to the trail’s entrance, read and follow signs or directions. Do not go off the trail and do not rely on social media for information about a trail.