Hiker Airlifted from Waiheʻe Valley, Stranded by Rising Water

August 14, 2015, 10:46 PM HST · Updated August 17, 6:59 AM
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By Maui Now Staff

A 46-year-old Kīhei man was airlifted from Waiheʻe Valley in Central Maui on Friday night after he became stranded by rising stream waters.

Fire officials say the incident was reported at 6:15 p.m. by the man’s friend who said the man texted stating that he was trapped from high stream water in Waiheʻe Valley.

FSO Taomoto said the man was hiking alone in Waiheʻe Valley and became stranded above the area often referred to as the “second swinging bridge” by swift moving stream water. “He made an attempt to cross the stream but retreated after he was unable to cross, and after he lost most of his gear to the fast flowing water,” said Taomoto.

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The department’s Air 1 helicopter was diverted from fighting a brush fire in West Maui, and redirected to the rescue call.

“As the pilot descended from over the West Maui mountains, he spotted the male hiker trapped above a stream on the Waiheʻe Valley Trail,” said Maui Fire Services Officer Edward Taomoto.

The helicopter picked up a rescue specialist from a landing zone near Waiheʻe School before returning to the site of the missing hiker.  A firefighter was lowered tot he valley floor to assist the hiker, who was found to be uninjured, said FSO Taomoto.  The man was then airlifted out of the valley and brought to an area near Waiheʻe Elementary School.

Hazmat and Rescue crews from Kahului and Air 1 responded to the rescue call.

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