7 Hikers Airlifted After Attempting Olowalu to ‘Iao Hike

September 2, 2012, 9:58 PM HST · Updated September 2, 9:59 PM
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Seven hikers were airlifted to safety after becoming stranded on a 2,000 foot ridge while attempting to hike from Olowalu to ‘Iao Valley. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Seven hikers had to be airlifted from a 2,000 foot ridge early Sunday morning while attempting to hike from Olowalu to ‘Iao Valley on Maui.

Rescue crews responded to the call of the stranded hikers at 4:03 a.m. on Sunday, September 2, 2012.

Officials say the hikers ranged in age from 26 to 69, and all were reported to be in good condition, except for the 69-year-old man who was reportedly complaining of non-life threatening leg and rib injuries.

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Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga said helicopter operations were delayed due to rain, high winds, and heavy cloud cover creating unsafe flying conditions.  At approximately 9:30 a.m., rescue operations commenced, said Mainaga.

Officials say the hikers were airlifted from the ridge to a secondary landing zone located on the valley floor next to the stream. They were then airlifted to a primary landing zone, located at the ‘Iao Valley Park parking lot.

The rescue operation was complete by 11:30 a.m. No medical attention was required, according to officials.

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