A private contractor removed a swing and the rusty poles that supported it that allowed hikers to swing past the edge of a cliff on a mountain more than 2,750 feet high.
The Board of Water Supply said the swing on top of the Haiku Stairs trail, also known as the Stairway to Heaven, was removed by about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. The board, which owns the land, hired a contractor, The Nakoa Companies, for the job at a cost of $23,000.
“The swing was an extremely dangerous attraction at Haiku Stairs that should never have been installed in the first place,” water board manager and chief engineer Ernest Lau said in a news release. “In addition to drawing thrill seekers to illegally climb the stairs and put their own lives at risk for the chance to ride it, the swing encouraged people to step onto and damage the watershed land it was placed over. The poles needed to be removed to eliminate the chance that another device could be installed in the same area.”
Hikers posted online videos of people soaring out over the mist-shrouded mountain cliff, including one where a young woman appeared to slip.
“Basically, it looks like she slipped off the seat of the swing and was dangling by her arms, and her companions were having trouble actually bringing her back safely to the stairs,” Lau said. “That was very frightening.”
It is still unclear who created the swing.
The seat of the swing hangs on metal chains attached to rusted poles that are remnants of the former Coast Guard OMEGA station.
The Board of Water Supply heard about the swing a few weeks ago and began making plans to remove it.
Hikers who climb the stairs or watershed land can be cited for trespassing and fined up to $1,000. But many continue to trek up the ladderlike metal stairs.
Only the swing, chains and poles were removed today. The ladder and stairs remain.