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Firefighters help 6 hikers stranded in Koolau mountains overnight

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:26 a.m. HST, Jun 23, 2013

Honolulu firefighters reached six hikers who spent the night in the cloudy Koolau mountains and brought them to safety this morning.

The male hikers, ages 17 to 21, set out at 10 a.m. Saturday and planned to hike the Pupukea Summit Trail to Laie, but because of the heavy clouds over the mountains, they decided to turn back, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Chris Ah Mook Sang.

The hikers became disoriented because of the heavy clouds and called for help at about 6 p.m., Ah Mook Sang said.

The weather prevented a Fire Department helicopter to reach the hikers and they spent the night on the mountain, he said.

"They had enough supplies to last overnight," he said.

The cloud cover was still too thick for the helicopter to reach them this morning, but the hikers were able to get to a military access road near the Pupukea trail, where a Fire Department pickup truck reached them and drove them off the mountain at about 9:30 a.m., Ah Mook Sang said.

"These guys were pretty smart, they had cell phones they had supplies, he said. "They just got a little disoriented because of the clouds up there."

Firefighters responded to several hiker-in-distress calls Saturday.

A 23-year-old woman died after falling 300-feet from the Puu Manamana ridge trail above Kaaawa,

Firefighters also responded to a rockfall on the Manoa Falls trail Saturday afternoon. Ah Mook Sang said a falling rock apparently broke into pieces above the waterfall and hit struck a 33-year-old man, a 13-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl.

The younger girl sustained a back injury was airlifted off the trail. The older girl suffered a wrist injury and was able to walk out on her own. The man declined treatment for a minor leg injury.

Earlier in the day, the Fire Department helicopter airlifted a hiker who fainted at the top of the Koko Head Crater trail at about 10:14 a.m.

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allie wrote:
yikes..carnage up high
on June 23,2013 | 11:47AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Running off on a trail, without someone who is experienced on that trail, is completely reckless. It is irresponsible to place the lives of rescue personnel in danger due to your recklessness. I have hiked this trail dozens of times in the night with cloud cover and have never become disoriented. Why did I not get lost? Simply because the first few hikes were done with those that knew the trail well.
on June 23,2013 | 12:37PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
As Warren Oates quipped in the movie Stripes, "Lighten up, Francis." I'm sure you've done seemingly foolhardy things as a young man. We all have. We are just the fortunate ones. Firefighters, police officers, Coasties, and servicemen all know what they're signing up for. There are risks that they accept as part of the job, hence their generous benefit and retirement packages. Thank God for their courage to run into situations that the majority of us would run away from.
on June 23,2013 | 02:30PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Reckless irresponsible individuals simply need to pay for their own ignorance and for diverting critical emergency resources - not the taxpayers. You have any idea how many millions of dollars are wasted each year rescuing irresponsible individuals?
on June 23,2013 | 05:11PM
noheawilli wrote:
Yes I do. We need to have a private/voluntary rescue service. I have done all the trails, and support such a organization. This works in areas of Australia, Scotland, and many much riskier places around the globe. I'll go, let's save tax $$'s
on June 23,2013 | 09:21PM
Anonymous wrote:
THIS is getting to be rediculous! You idiiots who think you are invisible and want excitement more than you want the physical aspect of hiking need to stop this nonsense! Hike only an sanctioned trials and stay on the trail!
on June 24,2013 | 09:26AM
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