KULA, MAUI – Yesterday evening, June 11, while returning to station from a previous lost hiker call, a Kula fire crew assisted in locating another group of overdue hikers at Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area in Kula. The are was well-trekked on the King Kamehameha Day holiday.
Kula firefighters were driving out of the recreation area when they were approached at 6:05 p.m., by a woman that said her husband and two children were overdue. She tried contacting them by phone but they weren’t answering. She had been driving around looking for them for a couple of hours and was worried because they weren’t answering her phone calls.
Firefighters spoke with hunters in the area that reported hearing someone calling out in the woods, but they could not find them. The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter with a rescue crew aboard were called in to locate the party before darkness fell.
Air 1 located the 44-year-old man and two sons aged 6 and 8, along with their dog on a boundary trail leading to Kula crews on the ground. By 7:21 p.m., Kula firefighters had met up with the party and walked them out to the road just before dark. The family was caught in a heavy down-pour and lost their direction. Their phone got wet and wouldn’t work. The family and their dog were uninjured and are all Maui residents.
In the first lost hiker call that Kula firefighters responded to, two Maui women, aged 32 and 34, called for help after getting lost in the forest at Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area. When crews arrived at the Polipoli campground, the women were back at their car and had walked out on their own.