Several hikers were air rescued out of the Kalalau area and Kōke‘e on Wednesday, June 2.
One of the hikers rescued was transported to Wilcox Hospital with a possible head injury after being struck by a wave and landing on her head on the sand.
“Air rescue missions serve as a reminder of the risks that these situations can place upon our residents, visitors, and first responders,” said Kaua‘i Fire Department Deputy Chief Michael Gibson. “When planning outdoor activities such as hiking and camping, please let others know of your intended destination and return time, remain on marked trails, and stay alert of changes in weather conditions.”
The first rescue occurred Wednesday morning after Kaua‘i Fire Department was notified of two hikers in distress in the vicinity of the Kalalau area at approximately 7:20 a.m. Rescue 3 aboard Air 1 arrived at Kalalau Beach at 9:30 a.m. and found two hikers, one with a possible back injury.
The party was transported to Princeville Airport and was met by Engine 1 and American Medical Response. After receiving medical assessments by AMR personnel, the hikers refused medical treatment. The scene was cleared at 10 a.m.
The second incident occurred 40 minutes after the first scene was cleared.
While conducting trail maintenance, crews with the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife notified first responders of a hiker with a possible knee injury on the Alaka‘i Swamp Trail in Kōke‘e.
Rescue 3 aboard Air 1 spotted the hiker on the trail at approximately 12:10 p.m. First responders utilized a short-haul, secured the hiker, and flew him to a landing zone in Kōke‘e. Responding medics with American Medical Response provided advanced life support and later released the hiker who sought medical care via private vehicle.
The scene was cleared at approximately 1:15 p.m.
About an hour later at 2 p.m., first responders were notified of a hiker with a possible head injury in the Kalalau area.
Rescue 3 aboard Air 1 arrived at Kalalau Beach at 3 p.m. and found a hiker with possible injuries after being struck by a wave and landing on her head on the sand. First responders applied a c-collar on the hiker, secured her on Air 1, and flew her to Princeville Airport. Responding medics with American Medical Response provided advanced life support and continued efforts on the hiker while in transport to Wilcox Hospital.
The scene was cleared at 3:45 p.m.