HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Emergency Medical Services said a 30-year-old man died after falling about 250 feet from the third peak of Olomana Trail.
The incident happened on Wednesday, April 6 and Honolulu firefighters arrived at the scene around 11:09 a.m. after receiving an emergency call about an injured hiker.
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According to the Honolulu Fire Department, the 30-year-old man was a visitor to Hawaii and fell off the makai side of the trail. He was airlifted to a secure landing zone, where HFD said his body was transferred to EMS.
Hikers who spoke to KHON2 said the trail conditions made them think twice about even going to the first peak.
“It was raining for a little bit, and then I heard the helicopters once I reached the first peak,” said Kaneohe resident Joshua Mendes. “I saw they were carrying somebody in the helicopter, so I saw the other hikers and we were like ‘I guess somebody fell, do you know anything about it?'”
HFD said the 30-year-old visitor was in a group with three other hikers — one was a local resident and placed the 911 call. Olomana is not a State sanctioned trail and parts of the terrain can be quite dangerous — even near the first peak.
“It is very slippery if it’s raining, it’s very steep, and some parts you’ll have to pretty much rock climb and lapel down it, on that first peak you have to lapel your way down, pretty scary if you don’t like heights,” Mendes said.
Another hiker told KHON2 that she will look at Olomana differently after Wednesday’s events.
“I guess it’s one of those things where you always feel invincible, until it happens to you or somebody you know and I don’t know him, but knowing it happened like right in front of us is pretty scary and is definitely going to make me reconsider some of the things I do,” said Makiki resident Nicole Gravalis.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a statement:
“Olomana trailhead is on private land (Royal Hawaiian Golf Club leased Weinberg), the trail passes over Dept. of Public Safety land, then into Waimanalo Forest Reserve. The trail is in the Na Ala Hele inventory, but it is not a maintained ‘program’ trail. There is no information about this trail on our website s nor do we have any directional/hazard signs on the trail itself. We don’t actively manage the trail nor do we recommend that people traverse it.”Dan Dennison, Hawaii DLNR senior communications manager
One visitor from Australia said difficult trials Down Under are well-marked and Olomana might be safer with similar signage.
“We find sometimes in Australia, we see signs everywhere, we’re like, um, we might not do it because we’re not rope climbers or something like that and then sometimes we come back with all those signs,” said Sebastian Gil.
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The hiker’s identity has not yet been identified. Honolulu firefighters and police are investigating.