On February 5, 2023, the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call at 9:00 a.m. for an injured hiker on a ridge of Koko Crater in Hawaii Kai and responded with 5 units staffed with approximately 16 personnel. The first unit arrived at the Koko Crater Trail head, but due to the location of the injured hiker, the initial responding unit relocated to the Koko Crater Botanical Garden for better access at 9:20 a.m. and ascended the ridge on foot. Subsequent arriving units established a command post and secured a landing zone at nearby Sandy Beach Park. This is where rescue personnel could load the necessary equipment and board Air 1 to conduct a search and rescue operation by air.

The caller, a 46-year-old female, reported that she and a 40-year-old male were hiking the ridge of Koko Crater when the male hiker had suffered a traumatic injury. Rescue personnel were inserted by Air 1 near the injured hiker’s location then hiked their way to his side at 9:44 a.m. The rescuers conducted a trauma assessment and packaged him into a rescue stretcher for an airlift extraction. Air 1 transported the injured hiker safely to the landing zone where medical care was transferred to the Emergency Medical Services at 10:08 a.m. A section of the ridge, where there was sheer cliff on both sides of the path, halted the progress of the on-foot fire fighters. Due to the terrain, the female hiker was also airlifted safely to the landing zone.

The HFD reminds the public to hike safely and provides the following hiking safety tips:

Plan Your Hike

  • Inform others of your plan
  • Hike with a partner
  • Gather information about the trail
  • Assess your capabilities

During The Hike

  • Stay on the trail
  • Stay together
  • Avoid undue risks
  • Watch the time

In An Emergency

  • Call 911
  • Be visible
  • Be noisy
  • Stay calm
  • Stay in place