The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call on June 18, 2021 at
8:04 p.m. for lost hikers on the Upper Waimano Trail in Pearl City. Five resource
units, staffed with 16 personnel, responded to the rescue call. The first fire
fighters arrived at the trailhead on Waimano Home Road at 8:15 p.m. Because
the geolocation of the 911 caller plotted them about five miles on the trail near the
summit, Air 1 was used to do an aerial search with rescue specialists looking
through night-vision goggles to find them. Visual contact with the family
of three was made from the air and a rescue specialist was inserted to make
physical contact at 8:58 p.m.
Apparently, a 25-year-old father and a 24-year-old mother from Virginia, but currently
stationed here in the military, were hiking with their three-year-old son for six hours and
could not continue in darkness. A rescue specialist was inserted, moved them to a
clearing 200 feet down the trail, and packaged them for extraction. Air 1 airlifted each of
them individually to the landing zone located nearby at the Waimano Home Road at
9:46 p.m. 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 allows rescuers to locate you and provide assistance quicker.
● In case of an emergency your cell phone can be a lifesaver. Ensure that your battery is full prior to your hike and carry an extra battery power source.
● Getting a late start increases the possibility of getting caught in the dark. Know your turnaround time and stick to it to allow enough time to return.
● Call or text 911 as soon as you need help.