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Police and Fire

For Monday, July 11, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff


Rescuers find man and dog lost in forest

Hawaii County firefighters rescued a 30-year-old man who got lost Sunday while hiking in a rain forest with his dog in Volcano.

The man wandered off the trail, used by hikers and pig hunters, and found himself in a thick forested area in Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve, firefighters said. He called for help at about 10:20 a.m., and firefighters pinpointed his position using his cellphone.

A fire helicopter lowered a rescue specialist to the man's location, and the man and his dog were escorted out of the forest in good condition.

Visitor missing after blowhole mishap

Maui firefighters scoured the ocean and rocky coastline Sunday for a 44-year-old California man who fell into a blowhole in West Maui.

They plan to return today at daybreak.

Witnesses said the man had his back to the ocean when a large wave threw him into the blowhole at Nakalele Point at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, said Maui Fire Department Battalion Chief Allen Duarte.

Firefighters searched Saturday afternoon by helicopter and personal watercraft, scanning about two miles of coastline, mostly made up of lava rock cliffs, and a half-mile of ocean from shore. Divers also searched underwater.

Firefighters suspended the search at dark but returned Sunday at daylight.

Rescue personnel found no signs of the San Anselmo, Calif., man, a father of a 7-month-old child who is visiting Maui with his family, including his wife and brother-in-law. He was wearing only swimming trunks when he fell into the ocean.

Man injured as waves knock him into sea

A 22-year-old California man was in critical condition Sunday night after being washed out to sea off Hawaii island.

Witnesses told firefighters the man was standing at the base of a cliff in Paradise Park when a wave washed him off the shore at about 3:30 p.m., said firefighter Mark Mangibin.

When he tried to climb back up the cliff, another wave washed him out to sea. Firefighters found the man floating face down in the water about 100 meters offshore from Paradise Drive. They scaled the cliff and swam out to the man, and a fire helicopter lifted him out of the water.

Firefighters took the man to the hospital in critical condition, Mangibin said.

Boat's discovery spurs Coast Guard search

A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules airplane and HH-65 Dolphin helicopter joined the search Sunday for an 80-year-old fisherman whose boat was discovered aground along the Hilo shoreline Saturday night.

Mitchell Wailani had been fishing with a friend who returned to shore in his own boat, Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Crystal Tassan said.

The friend last saw Wailani Thursday and reported him missing Saturday, Tassan said.

Hawaii County firefighters received a report at 5:16 p.m. Saturday that a boat was in distress along the shoreline below Koae Road. Firefighters found Wailani's boat but no one was aboard, Tassan said.

Big Island firefighters searched the area by air and with rescue divers Saturday night and resumed their search Sunday with a Coast Guard cutter already on the scene.

Paintball player stricken by heart attack

A 25-year-old man participating in a "paintball exercise" at Bellows Air Force Station in Waimanalo collapsed in cardiac arrest Saturday afternoon and died later at a hospital, police said.

There were no apparent signs of foul play, police said.

The case is being handled by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, according to the Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office.

The man collapsed at 1 p.m. Saturday and was taken unresponsive to a hospital, where he died, police said.

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