Maui News

Overdue Molokaʻi Hiker Just Delayed in Wailau

January 26, 2016, 10:19 AM HST
* Updated January 26, 10:21 AM
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Fire crews on Molokaʻi searched the Wailau Valley on Monday afternoon, Jan. 25, 2016 for an overdue hiker.

Firefighters at the Pūkoʻo station, on the east end of the island, got the call at 3:25 p.m. Fire officials say a Molokaʻi man had arranged to meet his father at the top of the Wailau Trail at around 11 a.m., before they were to hike back to Pūkoʻo together.

The father, a 63-year-old also from Molokaʻi, started out from the north side of Wailau Valley. When the father failed to show up at the designated meeting point and time, and after waiting for a while, the son hiked into Wailau Valley looking for him, according to department reports. The son decided to call for assistance in locating his father before it got too close to sunset.

The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter and Rescue 10 from Kahului, searched the Wailau Trail, but could not locate the overdue hiker. Fire officials say at around 5:45 p.m., the Pūkoʻo fire crew spotted a man emerging from the foliage and descending the Wailau trail about a mile above the trailhead.

Air 1 was guided towards the man, who turned out to be the father they were looking for. The man was uninjured and signaled to the helicopter crew that he was okay.

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The father met with firefighters at the trailhead near Pūkoʻo Harbor, and mentioned that he was just delayed and he was alright. The man was an experienced hiker and familiar with the area. No medical attention was needed.

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