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Stranded hikers are airlifted from Bamboo Forest trail

The Maui News

Five hikers were airlifted to safety after high stream waters stranded them at Bamboo Forest Sunday afternoon, according to Fire Services Chief Ed Taomoto.

At 3:15 p.m. Sunday, firefighters responded to a call from a female visitor who reported high water and possibly stranded hikers. Paia firefighters arrived at 3:40 p.m. and spoke with the woman, who was returning to her car and had just made the last stream crossing near Hana Highway when the stream flow suddenly increased very rapidly.

She told firefighters there were five people farther up the trail by the second pond, and she didn’t think the stream was crossable anymore.

Rescuers aboard the department’s Air One helicopter located the five hikers and advised them of the flash flooding, Taomoto said. Crews eventually airlifted three adults and two children to a grass pasture near the highway. Paramedics checked them, and they were released without injuries around 4:30 p.m.

The five were all part of the same hiking group, Taomoto said. A 50-year-old man, his 12-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter were all Maui residents. The other two, a 47-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman, were visiting from Fortuna, Calif.

Firefighters from Paia and a rescue crew from Kahului responded to the incident.