Mother waits and worries after kids call for help

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For the third day in a row, Honolulu firefighters have had to help rescue hikers.

Late Monday afternoon, they got a call from a group that was hiking the Kaau Crater Loop Trail.

It’s never a good sign when a HFD helicopter is circling above, especially when it may be family members who need help.

“I heard the helicopters and fire trucks coming up, rushing up, and I was like oh man I hope it’s not my kids,” Palolo Valley resident Lia Atiga said.

So she rushed up to Waiomao Road — the same place where she had dropped off her children, grandchildren, and neighbors kids just hours earlier.

They were going to go hiking on the Kaau Crater Loop Trail in Palolo Valley.

“They said they would be, they would give me a call at about 3 p.m., and when they didn’t give me a call about 3 p.m., that’s when I started getting worried,” Atiga said.

Firefighters got a call around 4:30 p.m. from a group of seven hikers who said they needed help.

“They were in the stream bed running from some pigs that were either chasing them or attacking their dog. Since then, we’ve been searching for them,” Honolulu Fire Capt. Gary Lum said.

“My heart is beating really fast right now. I’m just kind of worried. I just want my kids to come back and my granddaughter to be okay,” Atiga said.

She said her kids know the trail fairly well. After all, it’s in their backyard.

Minutes turned to hours. Then, she finally got the call she had been waiting for. Her son telling her they’re okay.

“I feel much better. My heart is at peace,” Atiga said.

Firefighters started escorting the group down two hours after getting the initial call for help. And, they actually found the group earlier.

“But they denied that they were the hikers that called for assistance. But after a little more questioning they admitted they were the hikers. While they probably won’t face any penalties from us, but maybe their parents,” Atiga said.

At about 7 p.m., the group finally made it out.

“What happened? You guys made me panic! Don’t do that again, okay?” Atiga said.

Overall, it was a happy ending, and a relief for the mother.

“I feel much better, but they’re going to get it when we go home,” Atiga said.

“Palolo style?”

“Yeah! That’s the last time you guys going hiking,” Atiga said.

Even though the Kaau Crater Loop Trail is frequently used by hikers, it wasn’t actually built for the purpose of hiking.

It was created so that Board of Water Supply crews can get to the waterline, and you’re supposed to get permission from them to use their trail.

Original story: Group of hikers rescued on Kaau Crater Trail

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