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Stranded hikers rescued in Wailua and Waimea

LIHU‘E — The Garden Island was hammered by severe weather late last week, prompting officials with the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue multiple flash flood warning, watches and advisories.

But that didn’t keep people from trekking into the great outdoors and finding themselves in a spot of bother, as evidenced by a number of hikers who had to be rescued in separate incidents on Sunday.

The Kaua‘i Fire Department (KFD) said the first incident involved three stranded hikers from O‘ahu, who needed to be rescued from the Blue Hole Trail in Wailua shortly after 12:35 p.m.

Rescue personnel with the Kapa‘a Fire Station and American Medical Response (AMR) responded to the emergency. Air 1 arrived on the scene shortly before 1 p.m. where they made contact with the hikers.

The three hikers were short-hauled to a landing zone on the trail, and were later transported to waiting first responders at the Keahua Stream Bridge parking lot.

The hikers declined medical transport and no injuries were reported. Firefighters cleared the scene at approximately 1:55 p.m.

The second incident involved nine stranded hikers, who needed to be rescued from the Waimea Canyon near Hipalau Camp in Koke‘e.

KFD said it received a call at approximately 5 p.m. Waimea Fire Station personnel responded, as did Air 1 which located the hikers. The stranded hikers were then shuttled, two at a time, to a landing zone at Kukui Trail where KFD personnel were awaiting their arrival.

No injuries were reported and the scene was cleared shortly before 7:10 p.m.

“We are grateful to our first responders for all their work during this recent severe weather event,” said KFD Chief Michael Gibson in a statement. “It is critical to avoid outdoor activities during heavy rain and inclement weather. It puts our emergency personnel and recreational enthusiasts at great risk and danger.”
Source: The Garden Island

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