Honolulu firefighters conducted two separate rescues of lost hikers two nights in a row this week, prompting the fire department to remind hikers to allow enough time to safely exit trails before dusk.
At about 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, 12 firefighters responded to a call of a group of lost hikers on the Crouching Lion Trail in Kaaawa. According to the fire department, four visitors, ages ranging from 18 to 20, were hiking for about an hour-and-a-half when they lost their way after sunset.
Fire rescue crews conducted a ground search by foot using the women’s GPS coordinates via their cell phone and made contact with them just before 8 p.m.
The hikers safely exited the trail by foot with the assistance of firefighters shortly after 8:15 p.m.
The following night, 16 firefighters responded to another group of hikers who got lost on the Maunawili Falls Trail shortly after 7:25 p.m. Three visitors — two men ages 22 and 23 and a 22-year-old woman — were on a two-hour excursion and got lost at dusk.
Fire rescue crews used GPS coordinates from the group’s cell phone provided in the initial 911 call and made contact with them at about 8 p.m. The fire department noted the hikers’ cell phone battery was at 25% when the 911 call was made.
The group safely exited the trail by foot with the assistance of firefighters.
No injuries were reported in both cases.
Due to limited visibility during the night rescues, the fire department committed resources that include aircraft support and technical rescue capabilities to conduct the searches.
The department provided the following safety tips for hikers:
>> Find out sunset times before your start your hike. Darkness occurs sooner on the east side of the island so allow enough time to exit the trail well before dusk.
>> Ensure your cell phone is fully charged before your hike. Carry a portable battery charger should you need to call 911 for help.