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7 Tourists Rescued From East O‘ahu Hikes After Sunset

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Two tourist hiking groups were rescued from East O‘ahu trails this week after getting lost in the dark, the Honolulu Fire Department said Wednesday.

Firefighters assisted four women ages 18 to 20 on the Crouching Lion Trail in Ka‘a‘awa around 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday. They had hiked for about 1.5 hours and lost their way on the trail when the sun set, firefighters said.

Rescuers hiked the trail and found the group after about 20 minutes, according to the department. All four women were uninjured and able to hike to the exit with firefighters. Four units with 12 personnel responded to the Ka‘a‘awa rescue.

"To perform these rescues safely and efficiently in a limited visibility environment, the HFD committed aircraft support, technical rescue capabilities, and firefighting personnel to perform the search, medical assessment, and ground extraction tasks," the department said.

On Wednesday, firefighters rescued two men and one woman who got lost on the Maunawili Falls Trail around 7:30 p.m. The group, in their early-20s and visiting O‘ahu, said they were hiking for about two hours and got lost after the sun set.

After determining there were no injuries, the hikers followed firefighters to the exit around 8:40 p.m. Five units with 16 personnel responded to the Maunawili rescue.

In both cases, firefighters were able to find the hikers by tracking the phones from which the 911 calls were made.

As for hiker safety tips, the department said people should begin hikes with enough daylight to exit safely.

"Please know what time the sun sets knowing that darkness happens sooner on the Eastside of the island. Plan on exiting the trail well before darkness arrives," the department.

Hikers should also ensure their cellphones are fully charged before hiking in case emergency services are required.

Sophia McCullough is HPR's digital news producer. Contact her at news@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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