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Stranded hiker rescued from closed Sacred Falls trail

By Gregg K. Kakesako

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:07 p.m. HST, Mar 19, 2014


Firefighters rescued a man in his 20s on Wednesday morning after he became separated from three other men and had to spend the night on the closed Sacred Falls trail.

Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman, said a group of four men -- all of them in their 20s -- entered the area around 5 p.m.

Only three came out at 7 p.m., but they didn't call authorities until just before 1 a.m.

Fire rescue personnel made voice contact with the remaining hiker around 3:30 a.m., but waited until first light to send in the helicopter to rescue him.

Sacred Falls State Park has been closed since Mother's Day 1999 when eight people were killed during a rockfall.

Seelig said law enforcement officers from the Department of Land and Natural Resources were also at the landing zone. Hiking in the area is a petty misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a minimum fine of $100 for the first offense.

In April 2012, after firefighters rescued a woman who hurt her leg while hiking at Sacred Falls State Park, state officials cited her and six hiking companions for illegally entering the closed park.

Two months later DLNR cited an 18-year-old visitor for hiking into Sacred Falls State Park and issued warnings to two teenage boys hiking with her.

In 2003, the state agreed to pay $8.56 million to the rockfall victims' families, who said warning signs were inadequate at the park at the time of the rockfall.






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