The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call at 4:52 a.m. for a stranded hiker on the Moanalua Valley Trail. Five HFD units, staffed with 13 personnel, responded. The first HFD crew arrived at the scene at 5:09 a.m., established command, secured a landing zone at Moanalua Valley Neighborhood Park, and investigated further.
The stranded hiker, a 26-year-old female visitor from New York, began her hike at 3:00 a.m., but due to deteriorating weather conditions, she was not able to make her way up to her intended destination. The stranded hiker reported she was cold and afraid, but not injured. The hiker’s cellphone Global Positioning System placed her roughly at the midway point of the Moanalua Valley Trail. HFD’s Utility Task Vehicle was deployed to the stranded hiker in case the weather conditions grounded Air 1 during the rescue operation.
HFD’s Air 1 landed at the landing zone where two rescue specialists boarded and flew to the reported GPS coordinates. Air 1 reported locating the stranded hiker and dropped off a rescue specialist at a remote landing pad where the rescue specialist hiked down to the stranded hiker. The rescue specialist made contact and confirmed the stranded hiker was not injured. The rescue specialist and the stranded hiker made their way back to the remote landing pad where they boarded Air 1. The stranded hiker was then flown to the landing zone at 6:39 a.m. HFD concluded operations with no reports of injuries.
Hiking Safety Tips:
• Compare your level of fitness, ability, and experience with the trail description. Be practical and realistic. There are a wide variety of trails in Hawai‘i, so pick one that suits your level.
• Prior to hiking, learn about the trail you intend to explore so you know the route, where to start, and the degree of difficulty. When you get to the trail’s entrance, read and follow the signs that are posted. Be aware of restricted or closed trails.