Honolulu firefighters were busy Tuesday evening searching for multiple lost hikers who became stranded in the dark on Oahu trails.
At 6:17 p.m. Tuesday, the Honolulu Fire Department received a 911 call for lost hikers in Kahana Valley. Five units with 16 personnel responded and arrived on scene 10 minutes later.
The firefighters ascended the trail on foot, using the caller’s geolocation which plotted them about a third of a mile from the Puu Manamana trailhead, HFD officials said. The hikers were found shortly after 6:53 p.m. after voice contact was made.
A 31-year-old man and 33-year-old woman had begun hiking from the Waiahole Valley areas since 8:30 a.m. but lost their way on the trail when dusk set.
Both hikers were airlifted on HFD’s Air 1 helicopter to a landing zone at Kahana Valley Beach Park. The hikers were not injured and did not require medical attention.
Honolulu firefighters also responded to a 911 call at 8:09 p.m. for a lost hiker in a gulch near the Whitmore Village area.
Military police officers reported hearing a woman calling for help from the gulch in the area.
Six units with 17 personnel responded. They arrived at 8:22 p.m. and confirmed her location via a light source and by voice, HFD said.
She said that she was on a dirt road headed down to the Dole Plantation area, and was not injured, but did not have a cell phone.
Firefighters conducted a ground search by checking two-and-a-half miles of Plantation Road and surrounding areas by vehicle with searchlights, then resumed an aerial search, and found her.
HPD airlifted the 37-year-old woman to a landing zone, where she was transferred to the care of Emergency Medical Services at 11:20 p.m.
HFD officials urge the public to hike safely and to start exiting the trail well before sunset. Hikers should be aware of what time the sun sets, and allow enough time to exit well before dusk.
A cell phone can also be a lifesaver in case of an emergency, officials said. Hikers should make sure they bring a fully charged cell phone on a hike, along with a flashlight, whistle, and clothing for colder weather. Packing an external, backup battery source is also recommended.