Hikers rescued after night in crater

A pair of Eastside hikers who called 911 Friday afternoon were rescued yesterday morning by the Kaua‘i Fire Department with assistance from Air-1.

The hikers had used a cell phone to call emergency dispatch at roughly 5 p.m. Friday, saying they were lost in the “Blue Hole” area, according to Inter-Island Helicopters owner and pilot Ken D’Attilio.

The hikers, a male and female from Koloa in their mid-20s, suffered no injuries.

County spokeswoman Mary Daubert said four KFD rescue specialists with the Lihu‘e-based Rescue 3 truck responded with an audible search using bullhorns in an attempt to locate missing persons until sundown.

Yesterday morning three rescue specialists returned to the area at roughly 8 a.m. and again attempted an audible search. When it failed, too, KFD called for aerial support, according to Daubert.

The request was received at roughly 9:45 a.m., at which point Air-1 picked up the three rescue specialists, D’Attilio said via e-mail.

“The search began in the ‘Blue Hole’ area and then expanded into the Wai‘ale‘ale Crater, where I spotted the missing couple near a cliff in heavy vegetation on the north side of the crater,” D’Attilio said.

Daubert said the helicopter then dropped off one rescue specialist in a nearby clearing and retrieved the hikers and had them airlifted to the trailhead at roughly 11:15 a.m.

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