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Firefighters rescue Manoa woman hiker from Palolo Valley

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:34 a.m. HST, Sep 4, 2010


Firefighters completed a drawn-out rescue of a Manoa woman yesterday after she became stranded alone behind Kaau Crater in Palolo Valley.

The woman, who was in her 30s, set out by herself from Waahila Ridge State Recreation Area, planning to reach a specific area, but never got there, said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig.

She wandered along the ridge of the Koolau Range, thinking it was a trail back, but ended up behind Kaau Crater and called for help about 2 p.m., he said.

Firefighters weren't able to locate the woman, who was hidden by the forest canopy, until after 4 p.m., said fire Capt. Earle Kealoha. 

Because of the gusty winds, the fire helicopter lowered rescuers into a clearing below the woman. They hiked to a finger of the ridge above the woman, dropped down to her about 5 p.m., and lifted her back up to the finger. Then the group reached the clearing about an hour later, Kealoha said.

After picking up the woman and her rescuers, the fire helicopter brought them to Palolo Valley District Park at 6:20 p.m., where the uninjured woman was picked up by her husband, Kealoha said.

Another fire company that hiked into the trail to try to reach the woman came back out about 7:20 p.m.

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