LOST HIKERS RESCUED IN DARKNESS AND INCLEMENT WEATHER ON KAAU CRATER TRAIL

On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call at 11:37 p.m. for lost hikers on the Kaau Crater Trail in Palolo. Four resource units, staffed with 12 personnel, responded to the emergency. The first fire fighters arrived at the trailhead, located at the end of Waiomao Road, at 11:50 p.m. to make contact with the 911
caller, who called for help because her husband and husband’s friend did not return from their hike that began at 1:00 p.m. She was not able to reach the hikers after a 5:30 p.m. text conversation when she learned that both their cell phones were low on battery power. She then went to the trailhead to find both hikers’ bicycles.

HFD could not utilize the Global Positioning System to locate the hikers because their cell phones were not working. A ground and aerial search was subsequently initiated to cover the area near the ridgeline and the waterfall. A short time later, one of the ground search teams made positive contact with the two hikers at 12:33 a.m. Both hikers were not injured and the HFD escorted them on foot to the trailhead where they exited safely at 12:59 a.m.

Hiking 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 so you
can exit safely. Also, in case of an emergency, including injury, it is easier for rescuers to
locate and help you.
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.
Pack Signaling Devices
Bring a flashlight so you can use it to see the trail and use it for signalling rescuers in
darkness

The Honolulu Fire Commission is accepting applications for the Fire Chief position.

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