The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call at 2:18 this afternoon for lost hikers on the Puʻu Maʻeliʻeli Trail. Five HFD units, staffed with 16 personnel, responded. The first unit arrived at the scene at 2:24 p.m., established command and made began ascending up the trail on foot while the incident commander established a landing zone at the nearby King Intermediate School.

A 57-year-old male hiker, visiting from California, called 911 to report that he and his 54-year-old wife had been hiking for about an hour when they realized they were lost. No one was injured and the lost hikers even acknowledged that they could hear cars driving by, but they still needed help getting out of the trail.

The HFD utilized the geolocation of the hiker’s cell phone to pinpoint their location then Air 2 transported Rescue 2 into the area and inserted two rescue personnel to make contact with the lost hikers. Air 2 then airlifted first hiker with a rescuer to the landing zone at 3:16 p.m. The second hiker was airlifted to landing zone at 3:27 p.m.

The HFD urges the public to plan before hiking and follow these safety tips:

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 its degree of difficulty. When you begin, read and follow the signs and directions. Do not go off the trail and do not rely on social media for information about a trail.