Man airlifted out of Hanakapi’ai

A Honolulu man who complained of chest pains and was unable to hike out of Hanakapi’ai Beach was airlifted to safety Saturday morning.

The rescue by an Air-One helicopter came after the Hanakapi’ai River became impassable due to heavy rains from the winter storm drenching Kaua’i this weekend.

The man was put in the helicopter by three Kaua’i County fire and rescue specialists between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and was flown to the Princeville Airport, according to Kaua’i County fire captain Jay Peters.

An American Medical Response ambulance then took the man to Wilcox Hospital.

Peters said the man was conscious when he was flown away from a landing pad above the beach.

The man, whose identity was not readily available, had been camping in the area with his wife, and began having chest pains around 4 a.m. Saturday, Peters said.

Because the couple was not able to cross the rain-swollen river, the wife shouted for help from the west side of the river, Peters said, Someone heard her, ran out of the valley and dialed the 911 emergency line for help, triggering the rescue response.

Arriving firefighters set up a line between the west and east banks of the river and helped the woman cross river. She then walked out of the valley on her own, Peters said.

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