Maui News

Seven Airlifted from ʻĪao During Swift Water Rescue

September 4, 2018, 3:42 PM HST
* Updated September 4, 4:46 PM
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Seven individuals were airlifted from ʻĪao Valley after becoming stranded on a high spot in the middle of the river by quickly rising waters.

The incident was reported at around 4:15 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018.

The group consisted of two adults and three children–ages 3, 5 and 11–with local addresses; and two adult visitors.

Wailuku firefighters located the group and Rescue 10 personnel aboard the Department’s Air 1 helicopter were called to extract all seven individuals to a landing zone located in the parking lot of ʻĪao Valley State Park.

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Maui Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro said all were in good condition and refused medical attention.

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The Maui Fire Department reminds the public to take precautions when flash flood conditions occur.

The department offers the following advice to hikers:

  • Wear brightly colored clothes so rescue crews can more easily spot you.
  • Take adequate amount of water and snacks.
  • Start hikes early and know when the sun sets (darkness). Leave adequate time to get back.
  • Let someone else know where you are hiking and when you should return.
  • Make sure cell phones are fully charged and take an extra battery.
  • Be aware remote areas will not have cell phone coverage.
  • Never dive or jump into ponds due to submerged rocks/ledges.
  • Never cross or swim in streams/ponds when dark clouds are on the mountains.
  • Heed all warning signs and do not trespass on private property.
  • Stay on trails and pack out any rubbish. Leave only footprints. Never hike alone.
  • Be prepared for sudden changes in weather. Bring a poncho, jacket. sunscreen, and mosquito repellent.
  • Call the National Weather Service at 808-944-3756, Ext 2. Heed all advisories, watches, and warnings.
  • Call the Maui County Automated Information Line at (808) 986-1200, Ext 1.
  • Check out the National Weather Service forecast advisories.

Also Be Aware:

  • Flash flooding may still occur even when sunny due to rain clouds higher up in the mountains.
  • Newer editions of guidebooks have many safety messages. Read and abide by them.
  • River rocks can be very slippery. Stay away from cliff edges. Be aware of falling rocks.
  • Better to stay put than risk hiking in darkness.
  • Hawaiʻi’s streams may be contaminated with leptospirosis.
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*Below: Maui County Flash Flood Video.

ʻĪao Valley swift water rescue. 9.3.18. Video: @sophia.nanea

ʻĪao Valley swift water rescue. 9.3.18. Video: @sophia.nanea

ʻĪao Valley swift water rescue. 9.3.18. Video: @sophia.nanea

ʻĪao Valley swift water rescue. 9.3.18. Video: @sophia.nanea

ʻĪao Valley swift water rescue. 9.3.18. Video: @sophia.nanea

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