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7 Hikers Airlifted After Attempting Olowalu to ‘Iao Hike

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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.

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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