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Stranded hikers rescued after spending night in the Koolau

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:42 a.m. HST, Dec 21, 2012

Two hikers who had to spend the night in the Koolau mountains above Hauula were rescued by firefighters this morning.

Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman, said the two men in their 30s -- one of them a student at Bingham Young University at Laie -- began their hike near Laie Wednesday morning headed for a waterfall. Once reaching the waterfall, the two continued another five miles when they got into trouble on a ridgeline trail. The hikers used a cell phone to call the fire department for help at 3 p.m.

Rescue personnel, assisted by the department’s helicopter, were hampered by gusty winds and dense cloud cover and suspended operations at 6 p.m.

By mid-morning Thursday the heavy clouds still covered the hikers' location, so the fire department decided to fly a rescue team to a spot below the hikers.

Rescue personnel then hiked up to the two stranded men and accompanied them to where the helicopter could pick them up at 11 a.m.

Seelig said the two men both had cell phones, flashlights, a little food and ponchos. None of them needed medical treatment.

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