On the Eastern shore of the gorgeous Hawaiian island of O’ahu lies the Lanikai and Kailua beaches, their brilliant white sand and cool blue water beckoning tourists and locals alike all year round. For many, there’s no better way to spend a day than relaxing near the waves, soaking up the sun and the perfect tropical weather. The most breathtaking view, however, can’t be seen from a beach chair. Instead, it lies at the top of Lanikai Pillbox Trail.
Looming above the beaches, the popular trail provides a thrilling adventure for hikers and an unparalleled view of the surrounding area. That said, it’s essential to approach the trailhead prepared. While popular, the Lanikai Pillbox Trail is a challenging route stretching 1.7 miles in length, a large portion of which is steep, slippery, and difficult to navigate.
Hiking accidents aren’t at all uncommon on the trial. On Sunday (November 27) alone, in fact, the Honolulu Fire Department was tasked with rescuing not one but two hikers from the hillside.
The day began just after 9 a.m. when the Honolulu Fire Department received a call regarding an injured female hiker on the trail. The nature of her injury remains unknown; however, it was severe enough that she was unable to descend the trail on her own.
HFD sent five units out to the trail consisting of 16 rescue crew members in total. Within 15 minutes, the first unit arrived at the trailhead and began the difficult trek upward, weighed down with first aid equipment. While the first unit hiked up the trail, a second unit secured a landing zone at a nearby park in case helicopter transport was necessary.
After locating the injured hiker, HFD’s Air 1 airlifted her to a landing zone, at which point Honolulu EMS took over the incident.
Second of Two Hikers Rescued From O’ahu Trail
With the rescue mission complete, the crews headed back to the fire station. Shortly after their arrival, however, they received another call from Lanikai Pillbox Trail.
An adult female in her 30s had successfully hiked to the summit of the trail. But as she made her way down, she lost her footing, suffering an injury that left her unable to descend the rest of the way.
Just twenty minutes after they received the call, the Honolulu Fire Department located the injured hiker. For the second time that day, they did what they could for the hiker at the scene before loading her into a helicopter. HFD’s Air 1 then transported her to the park where EMS awaited her arrival.
Following the incidents, HFD provided a few safety tips for hikers exploring O’ahu’s many beautiful but strenuous trails. First, they advised outdoorsmen to plan their hike and hike the plan. This means informing others of your route and hiking with at least one partner.
Additionally, it’s vital to gather as much information about each trail before you embark. Knowing your own limitations and avoiding trails that surpass them is essential to a safe, enjoyable day outdoors.