Stranded hikers airlifted from Na Pali Coast beach

NORTH SHORE — A helicopter airlifted 20 hikers to safety Tuesday after they

had been stranded at Hanakapia’i Stream for two days.

The hikers,

including visitors, were trapped when heavy rains flooded the stream making it

impassable.

During yesterday’s rescue, the hikers were taken to a

helicopter landing pad near the stream mouth and then transported to another

landing pad near Ke’e Beach.

According to unconfirmed reports, the hikers

were rescued by Air-1 Inter-Island Helicopter.

Airlifting the hikers out

was ruled out earlier yesterday because of bad weather. There was no word on

whether any of the hikers needed medical attention.

Earlier Tuesday

morning, the hikers had intended to wait for the streamwaters to subside

before attempting to cross the rain-bloated stream.

Kaua’i Fire Department

Capt. Kaleo Christian and a four-member search and rescue team hiked to

Hanakapi’a Beach to offer their help to the hikers.

Rescuers ruled out

taking the hikers out by boat because of rough water conditions, Christian

said.

Authorities became aware of the plight of the hikers after an O’ahu

resident called the Kaua’i police on Monday to say that two members of her

family, Jack and Daniel Lauer, had not returned from their Na Pali Coast trip,

Christian said.

He said some of the hikers spent the night at the beach and

stayed in tents to protect themselves against the elements.

The beach is

located about two miles west of Ke’e Beach.

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