comscore 2 stranded hikers spend night above Kaaawa awaiting rescue
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2 hikers find way home from Kaaawa trail after getting lost

Two female hikers were able to walk out on their own early this morning after calling for help when they became lost and disoriented on the Puu Manamana Trail in Kaaawa.

Fire officials said the women, ages 24 and 30, were able to make it out to the trailhead without injury at 12:30 a.m.

The fire department got their distress call at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday when the women said that they became disoriented after hiking for five hours.

They were instructed to shelter in place and await rescue personnel. An aerial search for the two hikers was unsuccessful due to low cloud cover and poor visibility. Because of diminishing daylight and unsafe weather conditions, rescue operations were suspended and were to be resumed at first light.

However, the two women decided to keep hiking. They kept fire rescue personnel informed of their progress by text message.

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  • We need to start charging people (monetarily) for these rescues! I know the logic behind not charging people is because we don’t want to prevent people from calling if they’re in trouble and need the assistance. But usually, by the time these people call, they’re desperate for help anyway. The sun is going down, They’ve wandered off the trail, the battery on their cell phone is running out, and they didn’t pack any supplies. I’m not trying to be heartless, but c’mon! Our City’s First Responders risk their own lives to save these people, and the fuel to run the helicopters isn’t free either.

    • True, and a lot of these people don’t know if they can handle certain trails or not. They’re going by pictures on a blog or some Youtube video.

    • Absolutely! If they get injured and need help then I feel the emergency services should be free but sheer stupidity to hike on unknown trails without proper supplies like even a tracking GPS so one can at least turn back safely should lead to a citation with a hefty penalty as a learning lesson for all others.

    • fumio, you pay firefighters the same regardless if they are playing basketball behind the firehouse or rescuing hikers in the mountains. Yeah., you do pay for fuel, but the public also pays for fuel in training exercises. I would much rather the money spent on fuel be used for real-time rescues instead of make believe mock rescues.

        • And if these irresponsible pieces of trash started their hikes in the morning like intelligent people, we wouldn’t have these problems.

          Both started at noon or in the afternoon.

          Both clear no-nos to seasoned hikers.

          But at least both groups didn’t have solo members like that other woman. Gotta give them that.

    • Are you also comfortable asking for reimbursement for those who call for assistance due to lifestyle illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, emphysema, etc? Many are not insured or underinsured. I would much rather pay for those who find themselves in trouble on a trail exercising than those who regularly abuse their bodies.

      • Well, if you’re talking about calling EMS because of a medical complication, the City DOES charge you for the ambulance ride, IF you elect to ride in the ambulance to the hospital. And that’s regardless if it’s diabetes, obesity, emphysema, etc…..

      • It should be the other way around. People just exercising as opposed to exercising to help their medical situations should be the ones penalized. They should know better. By the way what do you think people with diabetes, etc. are doing? They are exercising to improve their health. The other should improve their minds.

    • Yep, panic instead of cool head? Am a morning person so no problem getting an early start o inure completing trip before sunset. It’s poor planner who get stuck!

    • the thrill of being “lost” and having to spend your night under the stars is a lifetime thrill. It is part of the tourist experience for some…

  • These are pretty simple hike’s (yes Ive done them both many times) and the FD really does not need to be bothered for such actions. There are plenty of people who would volunteer to hike up and escort the people out. Even Puu Manamana is simple enough.

  • I’m sorry I just don’t think it’s sensible to charge people for these kinds of situations. Our economy depends largely on tourism and yes, tourists, unfamiliar with the risks of Hawaii, sometimes make poor judgement. It’s not frequent enough or expensive enough to cripple our economy. However, having a judgmental and angry attitude towards people for making mistakes could ultimately end up making people feel unwelcome and hurt our economy a lot more than an occasional rescue.

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