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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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