HomeOutdoorsNewsInjured Hiker Airlifted to Safety From Pele’s Chair Trail in Honolulu

Injured Hiker Airlifted to Safety From Pele’s Chair Trail in Honolulu

by Amy Myers
Photo by Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Hawaii firefighters came to the aid of a hiker on Pele’s Chair trail. Earlier today, the Honolulu Fire Department received a distress call regarding a 68-year-old female who became injured and was in need of an evac.

The call came into the station at around 11:24 a.m., according to The Honolulu Star. At the time, the woman was hiking with a group of six individuals. Just 20 minutes into the trek, she fell injured and couldn’t continue.

Less than 10 minutes later, five units of 16 rescue personnel arrived at the scene. They reached the hiker’s location on foot while an aerial crew landed at the nearby Sandy Beach Park. By 11:45 a.m., the team had found the group and secured the victim on a litter before transporting her to the rescue helicopter, which took the woman to Emergency Medical Services just a little after noon.

Honolulu Fire Department did not disclose the nature of the 68-year-old hiker’s injury or the extent of her treatment. Her current condition is also unknown.

Following the successful transport, the fire department urged hikers to always carry a fully-charged phone and backup battery. Also important is to determine the physical limitations of the group as well as the potential obstacles of the trail they choose.

Tahoe Rescue Team Locates 78-Year-Old Hiker Before Freezing Temperatures Set in

Similarly, in California, local rescue teams responded to a call of their own regarding another hiker in distress on December 17. The 78-year-old man was hiking in Paige Meadows when he became lost. With temperatures quickly dropping and daylight disappearing, the hiker was in danger of exposure to the elements.

Thankfully, the Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue team was able to find the unnamed man just before 5:30 p.m.

According to rescuers, it’s not uncommon for hikers to become disoriented in Paige Meadows.

“Paige Meadows is a fairly common place for people to get lost especially in the winter,” said Brad Altman, volunteer with Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, per Sierra Sun. “It’s easy to get disoriented. There are several different meadows that are all interconnected via different trails and at night and in the winter those meadows can really start to look alike.”

Altman was just happy that the hiker decided to call 911 before it was too late.

“He realized he was not going to get himself out of there,” Altman said. “It was getting dark, it was getting cold, and even though he was slightly embarrassed that he had to call for help, he did the right thing.”

Both rescues in California and Hawaii serve as cautionary tales for fellow hikers to bring the appropriate gear not only for the hike but also for the worst-case scenario.

“Don’t misjudge your abilities,” Altman said. “Make sure your fitness and your skills are commensurate with the activity that you’ve planned. Make sure you have plenty of warm clothes, food, water, and have your cell phone charged.”