‘SOS’ leads to rescue of stranded hikers

A couple was rescued on Kalalau beach Tuesday morning after writing a signal for help in the sand.

Chief Jerrod Sneller of the U.S. Coast Guard Hawaii Pacific said a man and a woman were rescued by Coast Guard officials after writing “SOS” on Kalalau beach on the Na Pali Coast.

“Apparently they were out there since yesterday, but it was relayed to us through a charter tour helicopter, through the airport tower and the airport tower notified the Coast Guard,” he said.

Sneller said the man suffered a foot injury and couldn’t walk.

A Coast Guard helicopter surveyed the scene and lowered a rescue swimmer. The couple was taken to Lihue Airport and treated by paramedics. Both are in stable condition.

Bryan H. Bishop, an employe with Lihue Control Tower, said a Blue Hawaiian tour helicopter indicated that the couple was stranded at Kalalau beach, which alerted the Lihue Control Tower.

In email, he said the couple was seen stranded the day before.

“A Mauna Loa tour helicopter reported to the Lihue Control Tower seeing a giant SOS scrawled in the sand at Kalalau Beach with people nearby,” he said. “The people were reported as not acting as if they were in distress. The Control Tower called 911 and reported it.”

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