The Maui Fire Department on Thursday says it has come up empty after three days of searching, officially ending its efforts to find a missing hiker.
Fire crews conducted only aerial searches on Thursday for the man that went missing Tuesday, since surrounding water conditions near the Puka Maui Trail in Kailua were considered dangerous.
The fire department first received a call around 11:03 a.m. Tuesday of a report of a male hiker that reportedly fell about 20 feet from a sea cliff at the trail.
It’s located near mile-marker 7 of Hana Highway and is about a 90-minute hike to the ocean from Hana Highway.
The male was hiking with a group of 3 other friends when he fell off the ledge and landed in the ocean. After the group lost sight of him, they called for help.
The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter is searching in the area where the male hiker was last seen. Ocean safety lifeguards on two rescue watercrafts, and a fire department rescue boat are also on scene searching for the hiker.
High dangerous surf upwards of 20-25 feet and dirty brown water from mountain stream runoff is preventing rescuers from entering the water and performing an underwater search so crews are focusing their search efforts to the surface, spotting from land, and by air.
A battalion chief and firefighters from Paia and Kahului responded along with ocean safety lifeguards from Hookipa and Kanaha Beach Parks.