Honolulu Rescue Teams Airlift Stranded Hikers

The group was stranded, cut off by the rising water and in an area where their cell phones didn't work.


Two-dozen hikers are glad to be home safe and dry after being stranded by a flash flood in the mountains above Haleiwa.

Twenty-four hikers set out on the Kawainui Trail at about 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The hikers said it was not raining hard, but suddenly retired police officer Lindy Williams heard and sensed something coming toward them.

"This big wall of water was coming around the bend, and I turned and said 'Run! Run everybody run!' I took off and they looked at me in shock and I said, 'I'm serious run. Run it's a flash flood,'" Williams sai.

The group was stranded, cut off by the rising water and in an area where their cell phones didn't work.

"We were fighting for our lives. We were in a very dangerous situation because of the water and we couldn't get out," Williams said.

Some of the young men in the group took all the cell phones and climbed to the top of the ridge. One of the cell phones worked and they called for help, according to the hikers.

Fire rescue teams found the hikers and brought them out one at a time by helicopter.

"We didn't want to leave anyone up there after dark when the stream might rise and endanger them further," said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig.

Williams was the last one rescued, just before midnight.

"It was harrowing it really was we were scared," Williams said.

Williams said the ordeal was a frightening lesson in just how quickly conditions can change and become life threatening on Hawaii's trails.

The entire group of hikers wanted to express their thanks to fire rescuers who came to their aid.

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