The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call on July 10, 2021 at 3:10 p.m.
for lost hikers in the Kahuku area. After reestablishing communication with the 911
caller, a more accurate geolocation was secured identifying their location as being on the
Kolekole Trail in Waianae instead. Six resource units, staffed with 17 personnel,
responded to the rescue call. The first fire fighters arrived at the Kunia Camp area at
3:39 p.m. to secure a landing zone for Air 1. Rescue 2 met up with Air 1 en route to have
rescue specialists and equipment loaded onboard to proceed near the coordinates that
were received from the previous cell phone call to 911.
The geolocation of the 911 caller plotted them about two miles from the Schofield
Barracks military base on the Kolekole Trail. Air 1 performed an aerial search but was
challenged with visually finding them due to the heavy tree canopy that they were under.
Cell phone coverage was also limited, requiring manual techniques of asking the caller to
describe if they heard Air 1 as he flew over them while relaying that information over the
cell phone. Air 1 and rescue specialists onboard made visual contact at 4:15 p.m.
Rescue specialists were inserted to make physical contact at 4:25 p.m. An initial
medical assessment confirmed they did not have any visible injuries so they were
packaged for a quick airlift extraction. Air 1 airlifted each of them individually to a
temporary landing zone nearby so he could land and have both of them board the
aircraft together since the distance to the Kunia Camp landing zone was lengthy. Air 1
arrived at the Kunia Camp landing zone with the two hikers at 4:52 p.m. All HFD
personnel were accounted for with no reports of injuries.
Hiking Safety Tips:
● 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 911 as soon as you need help.