Maui News

Lost Hikers Caught in Heavy Rain Rescued by Kula Firefighters

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Aerial and ground photographs of Kula Forest Reserve and Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area

Aerial and ground photographs of Kula Forest Reserve and Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area. File photo courtesy DLNR.

By Maui Now Staff

A father and his two sons are safe after becoming caught in a heavy down-pour and losing their direction on Thursday night, July 11, at the Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area on Maui.

Kula firefighters were flagged down by the hiker’s wife and mother of the boys at around 6:05 p.m.  The woman reported that she had been driving around for hours looking for her family, and was worried because they were not answering her phone calls.  All are residents of Maui.

The Kula fire crew was assisted by the department’s Air 1 helicopter that was called in to locate the hikers before darkness fell.

Officials say the firefighters spoke with hunters in the area that reported hearing someone calling out in the woods, but they could not find the source.


The helicopter crew located the 44-year-old man and his two sons, ages 6 and 8, along with their dog on a boundary trail.  Kula firefighters on the ground met up with the group at around 7:21 p.m., and walked them out to the road just before dark without incident or injury.


Fire officials say the hikers’ phone got wet and wouldn’t work.

The incident was the second lost hiker call that Kula fire crews responded to on Thursday night. The first call involved two Maui women, ages 32 and 34, who called for help after becoming lost in the forest.  When crews arrived on scene, the women were safe and had returned to their car after walking out of the area o their own.

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