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Stranded hikers rescued from top of Haiku Stairs

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    Mudslides damaged a section of the closed Haiku Stairs trail in February.

A Honolulu Fire Department helicopter rescued two stranded hikers above the Haiku Stairs trail this morning.

The hikers, a man and woman in their 20s, called for help at 7:38 p.m. Friday, a Fire Department spokesman said in an email.

Responding firefighters determined they were not injured and in a safe location. But because of darkness and unsafe weather conditions, rescue operations were suspended and the hikers were told to stay in place until morning.

The Fire Department resumed the rescue at 5:17 a.m. and a helicopter took the hikers to Kaneohe District Park, where paramedics evaluated their condition.

The incident is a reminder that hikers should refrain from going on treacherous trails, the Fire Department said.

“Please be safe this Memorial Day weekend. Consider the weather, the time of day, one’s capabilities, and an approved hiking trail before hiking. Be prepared, have the proper equipment, clothing, communication, food and water,” the Fire Department email said.

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  • If they got up there in one piece they could have hiked down this morning. No need for the chopper ride. Hope their car was in Moanalua Valley which is the only legal way to get to the top of the stairs.

      • Yes, the scenic vista they got to behold from the helicopter ride should be worth, say, $10,000 per hiker? Just send them the bill. If there’s a failure to pay in a timely manner, then sic a collection agency after them.

        • That’s impossible, of course. No contract was created between the hikers and anyone. There is no ordinance of any kind that would allow the city to collect money for this.

        • Klastri,

          I may not be good enough to write material for a stand-up comic, but has it ever occurred to you that you’re cursed with a remarkably underdeveloped sense of humor? The last time this happened was when I “suggested” we raise the minimum wage to $50 an hour, ending my comment with “and every man/woman a king/queen.” Even with a blatant hint like that you still responded as if it was a serious proposal. In the future I’ll make sure to assist you by inserting an emoticon somewhere. Now run along and enjoy your holiday weekend, maybe by reading some Jonathan Swift 🙂

    • Who goes for a hike this late in the day? The idea with Haʻikū Stairs (aka Stairway to Heaven) is to see the sunrise at the summit. They knew the potential consequences and failed to take responsibility.

      HFD has become the outdoor nanny.

    • You’re right. It’s much more sensible to refuse rescue and let them figure their own way out, even if they get injured or killed in the process. You are always thinking!

        • True dat. We didn’t have cell phones to call for a free helicopter ride. Either that that or back in the day ago people weren’t so stoopid?

  • Charge them with trespassing and fine them and any other else going up there since the stairs are closed to the public and start charging these idiots for the cost of the rescues.

  • The hike is not dangerous, it’s stairs with hand rails…

    What’s dangerous is that people try to access the summit from the aiea trail which is an extremely dangerous route.

  • Isn’t the Haiku Stairs trail closed? Don’t they have signs telling people that it is closed? With that, anybody found on the trail should be fined and, in this case, made to pay all costs for the rescue. Why do the responsible taxpayers have to keep paying to rescue dumbos like these two.

    • I’m looking at the side of the first responders. They are going after these people in all types of conditions. We have only one rescue helicopter and to use this on them is irresponsible and selfish.

    • Agree illegal tresspassing hikers that need to be rescued should be at a minimum get a stiff fine and if possible pay the cost of rescue

  • Rescuers are doing the job they need to do to stay good at it, but if they are alright fine them or let them sit it jail. That hike is Kapu.

  • The stairs either need to be dismantled, or made safe and opened to the public. Either way, I don’t care. But the status quo of having dozen’s of hikers a week trespass on the unsafe stairway is crazy. We’re paying hundreds of thousand of dollars for a security guard to watch hikers descend the stairway.

  • Until illegal hikers are charged for the cost of their rescue, there’s no reason for these people to stop their dangerous, and unlawful activity. Send down the rescue basket with the tab for the rescue – chopper, first responders, etc. Put your credit card in the basket. Once it’s run on the square thing and clears, send down the combination to get into the basket. This continues to be a get-out-of-jail-free card for everyone going out on closed trails, starting a two-hour hike at 5pm, going against weather warnings, with small children and all kinds of other incredibly stupid behavior. Remind yourselves that this was a CHOICE that people made. People learn from consequences. But if a free rescue happens for choosing any of the above, they’ve learned nothing. Except to try it again. And if we get into trouble, oh well – just call 911. They’ll take care of us.

  • Get rid of the stairs — make it illegal to go up there — slow always too slow –maybe an injury or death will get the gears moving but then it is all too late –then people wonder : why wasn’t something done sooner–that’s government county, city, state, federal– always behind and reactive–never has the smarts or the smart people to be pro-active

    • Yes sir!!! the cost of removing the stairs would easily outweigh the cost of rescuing the idiot hikers using this off limits trail!!!

  • Fine them for trespassing. When the travel books start talking about fines, and fees to be rescued, the closed hikes may become less appealing.

  • Why are the stairs closed in the first place?? THey are safe enough but yeah some fools would have a problem doing the hike.. because residents complained about people parking?? State afraid of blood sucking personal injury attorneys?? We need tort reform and a limit on tourists? the internet ruins all of the secret trails? bill the guys who have to get rescued by helicopter for sure. keep them officially closed , let us hike them illegally so if something happens, its your own fault

  • Even if we can’t charge them the cost of the rescue, at least publish their names and photos so that people can identify the stupid people who live in our midst. If they are tourists, charge them with trespassing and have them spend a night in jail, and send a jane-selfie to every possible social media site to warn tourists what happens if they persist on doing dangerous things at our expense.

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