Maui Pig Hunters, Hikers Stranded by Rising Stream Waters

November 27, 2017, 9:27 AM HST · Updated November 27, 10:18 AM
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Fire crews responded to the Honomanū Bay, Keʻanae and Kailua areas for reports of individuals stranded by rising stream waters on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017.

3 Men Stranded at Honomanū Bay

Fire crews responded to the Honomanū Bay area at around 4:02 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, for three men who were stranded by rising stream waters. Firefighters were able to locate their vehicle on Hāna Highway, near Kaumahina State Wayside Park at about 4:50 p.m.

Crews spoke to one of the men by cell phone and instructed the group to find an opening in the dense forest canopy so the rescue chopper could locate and airlift them out.  The fire department’s Air-1 helicopter spotted the men on a ridge about a mile mauka of Kaumahina Wayside Park.

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Crews airlifted the men one at a time on a long-line suspended beneath the helicopter to a landing zone at Kaumahina Wayside Park. All three men were uninjured and were transported safely to the park by 6:05 p.m.

Pig Hunters Rescued in Keʻanae

A 17-year-old male from Waikapū and two men in their early 20s from Kīhei had set out on a pig hunting trip earlier Saturday in the Keʻanae area. Fire officials say that on their way back, the stream bed that the pig hunters had crossed over earlier in the day had become a torrential river and was not crossable.

The men had six hunting dogs with them, but had to leave them behind when they were airlifted out. The hunters said they would go back and retrieve the dogs when the weather improves.

Firefighters from Pāʻia and a rescue crew out of Kahului responded to the mountain rescue.

4 Stranded at Bamboo Forest in Kailua

While firefighters were rescuing the pig hunters in Keʻanae, crews got a report of four individuals who were stranded on the opposite side of a swollen stream at the Bamboo Forest in Kailua; but by the time crews were done rescuing the hunters it was already getting dark.

Rescue crews had emergency dispatchers relay to the group via cell phone text message that crews would not be able to reach them after dark and they should plan to stay where they are overnight.

The group was told to turn off their cell phone in order to conserve power until the next morning.

They were also advised to not cross the stream in the dark and that firefighters would return at daybreak.

At 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning, firefighters got word that the four individuals had already made it out on their own.

Information on the individuals was not available.

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