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Firefighters rescue 3 stuck in the Koolaus for 3 days

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    The Koolaus remained engulfed in clouds as a storm traveled through the Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe on Dec. 30, 2014.

What started out for three local men as a day hike ended up as part of three days and two nights in the Koolau Mountains.

Fire rescue personnel airlifted Saturday the three men, who are in their 20s, off a ridge above Ahuimanu in Windward Oahu.

The men started their hike Thursday on the Aiea Loop Trail, on the Leeward side of the Koolaus, fire Capt. James Todd said.

The men veered off the trail, got lost and ended up on the Windward side, Todd said.

They were trying to get out of the mountains, but were trapped on a ridge, unable to go up or down, he said.

They used their cellphone to call the Fire Department at 12:46 p.m., Todd said, adding, “they used their last lifeline.”

“We had to pluck them off the mountain, one by one, and bring them down to Kaneohe District Park,” Todd said.

The last man was down at about 2:45 p.m.

For the helicopter rescue, “luckily, the clouds were high, but it was a little windy,” which made it difficult, Todd said.

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