‘SOS’ Message In Sand Leads Rescuers to 2 Hikers on Kauaʻi

May 24, 2016, 5:21 PM HST · Updated May 24, 5:23 PM
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Maui water, background photo by Wendy Osher; Coast Guard logo overlay.

Maui water, background photo by Wendy Osher; Coast Guard logo overlay.

Two hikers are safe after being stranded overnight on Kauaʻi’s Nā Pali Coast Trail.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point was on a training mission when they overheard a radio conversation mentioning the “SOS” written in the sand at Kalalau Beach.


The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 9:25 a.m. to see two people stranded on the beach waving their arms.  A rescue swimmer was lowered and discovered one of the hikers had an ankle injury preventing him from walking.

The hikers were hoisted to safety by the helicopter crew, and were transported to awaiting EMS personnel at Līhue Airport. They are reported to be in stable condition.

The Coast Guard encourages the public to be prepared with essentials such as water, food, sunscreen and communication devices before embarking on any trip whether on land or water. Agency officials say that in the event of an emergency, communication devices and emergency provisions can mean the difference between life and death.



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