Missing Oregon visitor reportedly fell while hiking Kuli’ou’ou Trail alone

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — After being lost in the mountains of East Oahu for almost 24 hours an Oregon visitor’s cries for help are answered.

Sara Morson was taken to safety by Air One, lifted up over the trees, out of the wooded area she spent nearly 20 hours in.

Morson is visiting from Oregon. She had texted a friend around 2:30P.M. Monday to let her know she was going to hike Kuli’ou’ou but hadn’t been heard from since.

HFD recieved the orginal 911 call at 2:30AM but had to wait until first light to start looking for Morson.

Rescuers began the search just after 8A.M. Tuesday.

Around 9A.M., hikers on the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge trail reported hearing someone calling for help.

Carolee and Jim Ploof said they were on their way up to the ridge when they first started hearing someone but couldn’t make out what she was saying. As they got closer to the top, they heard her pleading.

“It was very clear. I need help. Help me please. Please don’t leave me and her name was Sara,” Carolee Ploof said.

“We couldn’t see her but we could definitely hear her…She was definitely down over the ridge down maybe into another valley.”

According to the Honolulu Fire Department spokesperson, Morson fell between 10-15 feet off the trail and was injured.

Ploof said conditions were dangerous near the top along the ridge.

“It’s pretty slippery when it’s wet. And then there’s the stairs that go on forever and they were very slick, very packed with mud.”

Ploof said watching the rescue crew pull Morson out from the valley was incredible.

“It was unbelievable. It’s very gusty up there and the way that pilot kept the helicopter so steady–we were more in amazement. And then the guy dropped down and all of a sudden they had her and they just flew off. It was amazing,” Ploof explained.

The Honolulu Fire Department shared helpful tips to help keep hikers safe:

Always hike with a parnter
Avoid hiking in bad weather
Get a map of the trail
Bring water and a snack
Dress properly, including appropriate footwear
Let family know where you are going and when you should be back

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