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Firefighters rescue 4 hikers stranded on Koolau trail by bad weather

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 4, 2012

Firefighters rescued four hikers Tuesday who aborted an attempt to hike the Koolau Summit Trail after withstanding a night of bad weather and encountering heavy clouds.

The four hikers had planned to spend five days in the mountains to hike from Aiea to Laie, but called the Fire Department with a cell phone after heavy clouds set in this morning, said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig. 

The man and three teenaged boys who started their hike Monday endured strong gusty winds and rain overnight, Seelig said.

“Their tent really wasn’t adequate,” Seelig said. “They became very cold. They didn’t know exactly where they were. It was very cloudy.”

Three firefighters began hiking to the group about 9:30 a.m. and hiked about 10 miles to reach the group and bring them back to the trailhead of Aiea Loop Trail about 4 p.m., Seelig said. The hikers were tired and hungry, but uninjured.

Seelig warned that hiking the Koolau Summit Trail can be risky because of treacherous passageways and extreme weather.

“They learned a lesson,” Seelig said. “It’s not just about a hiking background, but you have to have a good understanding of the area that you’re hiking in.”

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