Eller Searchers Join Hunt For Another Missing Maui Hiker
WAILUKU — The men who coordinated the search for a woman found after two weeks in a Hawaii forest have joined a search for another missing hiker, a report said.
Chris Berquist and Javier Cantellops met with the family of 35-year-old Noah Mina on Sunday before being flown by helicopter to the search area in the West Maui Mountains (Mauna Kahalawai), The Maui News reported Monday.
Mina was reported missing May 20 in the area of the Kapilau Ridge in Wailuku. Police and fire first responders have searched by air and on foot.
Berquist and Cantellops led the successful search for Amanda Eller, a physical therapist who became lost while hiking in Maui earlier this month.
"I am still riding high from finding Amanda and by no means have we come down from that cloud," Cantellops said, adding that "a member of the community is missing and we are going to help as much as possible."
Responders discovered Mina's sandals around an elevation of 2,500 feet (762 meters), according to his father, Vincent.
The search will require air support from Federal Aviation Administration-certified drone pilots and donations to help fund private helicopters, Cantellops said.
The family's GoFundMe page collected nearly $30,000 by Sunday.
Weather and terrain are major factors in the area where some stretches of path are only 2 feet (0.61 meters) wide alongside a drop of 1,800 feet (549 meters), Cantellops said.
"This situation is extremely dangerous and different than Amanda's search," he said. "Volunteers will not be used in the search. We will be putting together a specialized team of pros that will be going into the area."