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N.Y. tourist airlifted to safety after a night in Waimea Canyon

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After some initial misdirection, a 25-year-old man from Buffalo, N.Y., was airlifted to safety Sunday after spending the night in Waimea Canyon on Kauai.

The man had been hiking Saturday and became disoriented at dusk, Kauai County said in a news release.

He called his mother on his cell phone and she called the Waimea fire station at about 6 p.m. and informed them that her son was lost but uninjured. She also said that his Nissan sedan was in the Waipoo Falls parking lot.

Five firefighters from the Waimea station reached the parking lot just after 7 p.m., but the car was not there.

The firefighters then hiked to the falls and called out, but there was no response. With darkness approaching, they returned to the parking lot. 

The hiker’s mother called back to say that her son had just texted her that he was on a trail that started with  K.

The firefighters then drove to the entrance of Kukui Trail and found the vehicle. They hiked in about 100 yards and called out, but there was no response.

The search then was called off until morning.

At 7:23 a.m. Sunday, a rescue crew boarded the Air 1 helicopter and found the hiker next to the stream below Waipoo Falls. They loaded him on Air 1 and flew to Waimea Canyon School Park, where he was examined by medics and released.

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