Maui firefighters busy with rescues

KAHULUI, MAUI – At 6:16 p.m. Friday, firefighters were called to a hiker unable to cross a stream in the Waihee Valley in Central Maui.

Firefighters responded to the Waihee Elementary School Park to meet with the caller and establish a landing zone for the fire department helicopter. The caller stated his friend texted him that he was trapped from high stream water in Waihee Valley.

Air 1, which was fighting a brushfire in West Maui at the time, was redirected to the rescue call. As the pilot descended from over the West Maui mountains, he spotted the male hiker trapped above a stream on the Waihee Valley trail. Air 1 landed at Waihee School Park to set up a rope rescue system and pick up a rescue specialist. Air 1 inserted the firefighter to the valley floor and then airlifted the hiker to safety at the school park where he was found to be uninjured.

The 46-year-old male from Kihei, was hiking alone in Waihee Valley and became stranded above the 2nd swinging bridge by swift moving stream water. He made an attempt to cross the stream but retreated after he was unable to cross and after losing most of his gear to the fast flowing water.

Hazmat and Rescue crews from Kahului and Air 1 responded to the rescue call.

Firefighters from Paia and the Kahului rescue crew are currently out searching for a pair of hikers, a 28-year-old and 43-year-old males reported overdue by a friend. They failed to pickup the friend from work as was planned. Their car was found still at the Commando Trailhead, in the Haiku area of East Maui on Friday evening, and the friend called emergency responders at 7:05 p.m. Friday. More information will be released when it becomes available.

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