Honolulu firefighters were busy Tuesday night after they rescued nine lost hikers at Maunawili Falls Trail and Waimano Trail.
At approximately 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, 12 firefighters responded to two hikers in distress at Maunawili Falls. Honolulu Fire Department Spokesman Capt. Kevin Mokulehua said the hikers, described to be in their 20s, were hiking for about two hours when they got lost.
Firefighters located them at approximately 9:41 p.m. and escorted them out of the trail. No injuries were reported.
At Waimano Home Trail, the fire department also responded to five distressed hikers at about 7:30 p.m. In a news release, Mokulehua said the hikers were on the trail for about four hours when they became lost.
After firefighters began their search, they came across two other lost hikers and escorted them back to the trailhead.
Almost three hours later, fire crews located the five hikers. There were no reports of any injuries.
Mokulehua recommended hikers to start their hike early in the day. “We don’t recommend anyone starting their hikes late. It’s very difficult to find your way back, especially at night.”
If individuals start their hike in the afternoon hours, their hike should be cut in half so they have enough time to head back to the trailhead before dusk, Mokulehua said.
Mokulehua also advised hikers to stay on the trail to reduce the risk of getting lost or injured such as a serious fall. He urged hikers to carry a charged cell phone, flashlight and a whistle in the event of an emergency.
The fire department also reminded the public to know their limits after firefighters rescued a woman at the Diamond Head Crater Trail early today after she fainted and had difficulty breathing.
Firefighters responded to the distress call shortly after 6:30 a.m. The woman, described to be in her 50s, was hiking on the trail when she ran into trouble. Fire crews arrived and located the woman and her family near the tunnel of the trail, according to Mokulehua.
Family members told rescuers she had fainted several times during their hike and had trouble breathing. The fire crew secured her in a rescue basket before Air 1 airlifted her to a nearby landing zone where paramedics assessed the hiker.
Before going on a hike, Mokulehua advised hikers to select a trail that best suits your level of experience.