Kauai News

Injured Hiker Rescued off Sleeping Giant Trail Pronounced Dead at Wilcox Medical Center

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Two separate rescues performed over the weekend at the Nounou East Trail in Wailua and Kalalau Trail in Hanakoa Valley ended with one hiker dead and the other taken to a local hospital.

The rescues occurred about an hour apart from each other on Sunday, Feb. 27. Firefighters were notified of the first report at approximately 11:30 a.m. of a 59-year-old male visitor from Illinois, later identified as Masami Ozawa, who became unresponsive on the Sleeping Giant Trail in Wailua.

Personnel with the Kapa‘a fire station, Rescue 3, Air 1, the on-duty battalion chief, and American Medical Response responded to the incident. According to a preliminary report, first responders arrived on scene at approximately 11:35 a.m. and located the hiker at the 0.5-mile marker of the trail.

“The hiker had no pulse, was not breathing, and was being administered CPR by a bystander,” officials stated in a press release Monday, Feb. 28.


Rescuers activated an AED on the hiker and took over CPR efforts. Assistance from additional rescuers included high-performance CPR and bag-valve-mask ventilation with high flow oxygen. Ozawa was transported via Air 1 to Wailua Houselots Park to awaiting medics and firefighters.

AMR personnel continued advanced life support on the hiker before transporting him to Wilcox Medical Center ER, where he was pronounced dead.

Volunteers with Life’s Bridges, a grief counseling service, are assisting with the family of the victim.


The scene was cleared at approximately 12:40 p.m.

First responders were alerted of the second incident at approximately 12:30 p.m., involving a 56-year-old female visitor with an ankle injury on the Kalalau Trail in Hanakoa Valley.

Personnel with the Hanalei fire station, Rescue 3, Air 1, the on-duty battalion chief, and American Medical Response responded to the incident.


First responders arrived on scene at approximately 12:50 p.m.

After accessing the patient, first responders carried her to Air 1. After landing at Princeville Airport to awaiting medics and fire personnel, she was accessed and transported to a local hospital.

The scene was cleared at 1:35 p.m.


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