Firefighters rescue students trapped behind raging waterfall

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Big Island firefighters who saved hikers trapped behind a raging waterfall say they thought it would be a recovery mission and not a successful rescue.

The firefighters involved in the rescue earlier this month recount for West Hawaii Today that a call to find people swept away during a flash flood turned into a very challenging mission.

Battalion Chief John Whitman says crews picked up three students with Youth With a Mission from University of the Nations in Kona who reported that seven students were washed away.

Whitman says he thought they would be dead.

Rescuers found four clinging to the sides of cliffs.

Firefighters heard faint cries over the loud waterfall. The remaining three were clinging to slippery rock behind the waterfall. Rescuers lifted them to safety with ropes.


Information from: West Hawaii Today,


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