A 48-year-old woman from the Philippines who was rescued this morning after spending the night stranded on the mountainside in East Oahu covered herself in pine needles to keep warm overnight, according to the couple who found her.
Avid hikers Bill and Lisa Sandusky, of Moanalua Gardens, said they found the woman, identified by her family on social media as Sheila Lim, on a steep incline above a connector trail between Hahaione Trail and Kuliouou Ridge Trail. It appeared Lim had fallen off Kuliouou trail and became stuck on the incline about 100 yards above the connector trail. Lim told the couple she decided to stay put because every time she moved, she would slip and fall down the slope covered in pine needles and loose rocks.
She had a gash on her head, apparently from falling, but appeared in good health, Bill Sandusky said.
The couple said they went looking for Lim at 9 a.m. today after seeing her family’s social media post asking for help. The couple, who also helped search for missing hiker Nicholas Tachino, whose body was found on Olomana Trail on Oct. 6, entered the forest from the Hahaione trailhead and were calling out for Lim when they began to hear her respond about two hours later.
“Thank you, it’s so good to see you,” Bill recalled Lim saying after they found her. While Lim remained calm, she told the couple she was scared of heights, was a novice hiker, and didn’t really want to go on the hike Saturday.
The couple offered her food and water and put spikes on her shoes, then guided her down the mountain with ropes.
Lim, who was only wearing a tank top and yoga pants, told the couple she had been rationing the water left in her bottle and covered herself with pine needles for warmth overnight.
Back on the trail, the couple called for help and a fire helicopter took her to safety.
Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Scot Seguirant said firefighters began searching for Lim Saturday afternoon after she went missing while hiking Kuliouou trail with a group of four.
A family member said on social media that Lim was missing since 1 p.m. Saturday when the group got split up while returning from the summit.
Firefighters received a call for help at 2:47 p.m. Saturday and arrived on scene shortly before 3 p.m. They searched by helicopter and on foot until darkness Saturday night, then resumed the search about 6 a.m. today.
Seguirant said firefghters took her by helicopter to Kuliouou Neighborhood Park, where she was transferred, dehydrated and with minor lacerations, to medical personnel.
A Honolulu Police Department K9 unit and other volunteers also assisted in the search this morning.