18-year-old hikers reunited with families after getting lost in the dark

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu firefighters rescued three 18 year olds Thursday from Aihualama Trail in Manoa after the hikers found it was too dark to locate their way back.

Calls for the lost hikers came in at approximately 7:14 p.m. Four resource units, staffed with 12 personnel, responded to the scene.

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The group said they began hiking at 6 p.m., but weather and lack of gear such as a flashlight and signaling device made it challenging to find their way back or alert rescuers of their location.

Since the 9-1-1 caller’s geolocation put them more than half a mile from the trailhead above Manoa falls and visibility was limited due to darkness, an aerial search was performed.

Rescuers managed to make contact with the group by 8:52 p.m., almost three hours after the hikers ascended up the trail.

No injuries were reported, but weather worsened during the rescue presenting challenges for the first responders. The first hiker was extracted by air and brought to a landing zone at Manoa District Park where he was reunited with his parents. The other two hikers had to be assisted down the trail by foot as weather made it clear another aerial rescue could not be performed safely.

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The two hikers and rescue specialists exited the trail safely by 10:14 p.m. where their parents were waiting.

The fire department is reminding the public of these safety tips:

  • Start exiting the trail well before sunset.
  • Know what time the sun sets and allow enough time to exit before dusk arrives.
  • Pack signaling devices.
  • Bring a flashlight so you can use it to see the trail and to signal rescuers.

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