By Wendy Osher
(ʻOHEʻO UPDATE, TEENS FOUND ALIVE AND COLD: Saturday, March 22, 2014)
Fire officials say crews aboard the Department’s Air-1 helicopter located two missing teens at 7:05 this morning on the side of the Palikea Stream at ʻOheʻo Gulch when the search for them resumed this morning.
The two were airlifted to a landing zone, located at the Park Ranger’s base yard, according to Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.
Fire officials say the girls did not have any injuries but were very cold.
It was reported earlier that there were five people in the group hiking; however fire officials now say there were four–the father, his son, his daughter and the daughter’s friend.
The mother, authorities said, remained at the campsite. Authorities say they are residents of Maui.
Park officials say the hikers had left the park trail along Pipiwai Stream and bypassed a fence designed to prevent hikers from going up Palikea Stream, a tributary that feeds into Pipiwai.
The park closed the pools area of ʻOheʻo at 3 p.m. on Friday based on data from its stream monitoring system.
“We are impressed with the bravery shown by the young women, thankful for the dedication shown by all the rescue teams, and above all relieved that all are safe,” park Superintendent Natalie Gates said today.
She added, “Let’s honor the courage of the girls and their rescuers by spreading the word – follow park instructions on signs, check our website and listen to guidance from our staff. Not doing so invites tragedy.”
(Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014)
A search is underway for two missing 16-year-old girls who became separated from their group by rising water at ʻOheʻo Gulch in Kīpahulu late Friday afternoon, March 21, 2014, fire officials said.
The air search was suspended at 7:15 p.m. due to darkness, and a ground search was called off at 8:50 p.m., but will resume at first light on Saturday, according to Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.
Hāna fire crews, along with Air-1 and Rescue personnel were called to the scene at 5:43 p.m. on Friday to assist National Park Rangers with the search.
According to FS Chief Mainaga, the teens were hiking with two adults and a juvenile male when the water in the stream started rising, separating the two females from the three others in the group.
***Check back for updates which will be posted as they become available.
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