Two Hikers Airlifted From Waiheʻe Valley After Flash Flood
By Maui Now Staff
Two hikers, trapped by flash flooding in Waiheʻe Valley on Thursday afternoon, were airlifted to safety at around 12:48 p.m.
Fire officials say a relative of the hikers called emergency dispatchers to report that the pair was trapped near a canal above the ‘Swinging Bridges’ section of the stream.
Wailuku firefighters arrived on scene at 1:05 p.m. and confirmed the hiker’s vehicle was parked at the trailhead. Crews said very heavy rain was occurring when they arrived, but it dissipated by the time the department’s Air 1 helicopter arrived.
The rescue helicopter searched for some time before finally locating the 36-year-old man and 31-year-old woman. Authorities say the two visiting from Arizona, and were staying with a relative on Maui.
The hikers had to wait a while longer as the helicopter crew returned to the airport to re-fuel before resuming the rescue.
When Air 1 returned, crews airlifted the hikers to a landing zone at Waiheʻe Elementary School Park at around 3:15 p.m. The man and woman did not sustain any injures.
Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said they were walking back to their car when they became stranded at the two streams that they were able to cross earlier.
Wailuku firefighters, along with Air 1 and the Kahului rescue crew responded to the incident.