VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Father and Son Airlifted in ʻĪao Valley Rescue
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmZWTqZkwoE /]
By Wendy Osher
(Update: 7:46 a.m. 8/10/13)
A father and son are safe this morning after spending the night in heavy rains on a trail in ʻĪao Valley.
The two were airlifted to safety at around 7 a.m. by crews from the Maui Fire Department’s Air-1 helicopter.
Fire officials say the search resumed at 6 a.m., after being suspended due to inclement weather at 8:20 last night.
Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga said air operations started up at 6:36 a.m., and the father and son were finally located by the department’s Air-1 helicopter crew at 6:50 a.m., about 1.5 miles into the trail.
The son was airlifted at 7:05 a.m., and the father at 7:15 a.m., authorities said. Both were taken to a landing zone set up in the parking lot area of the state park.
Authorities said the two are uninjured but were very cold after spending the night in inclement weather that made it unsafe for rescue crews to conduct the search overnight.
The 51-year-old man and his 11-year-old son departed from the upper parking lot at around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9, to look for a pond that they had heard about, while the man’s wife remained in the car, said Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.
Officials say the wife reported the hikers missing five hours later at 6:28 p.m.
The search on Friday initially utilized the department’s Air-1 helicopter, but it was turned back due to poor weather and low light conditions.
When the search resumed at first light today, crews were able to locate the missing hikers, who had spent the night at a fork in the trail.
The father and son reportedly had personal flotation devices, but no cell phone or flashlights, said FS Chief Mainaga.
Other agencies assisting with the search and rescue include the Maui Police Department and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.