When 911 call wouldn’t go through, Hawaii hiker lost in rain summons help another way

A hiker was rescued after texting 911 when he got lost on a Hawaii trail, rescuers say.

The hiker was trekking the Manana Ridge Trail in Pearl City in heavy rain on Friday, Feb. 9, the Honolulu Fire Department said in a news release.

Due to poor cell reception, rescuers said the man could not make phone calls.

He instead texted 911, saying he was lost, rescuers said.

Over text messages, the hiker told rescuers he was alone but not hurt.

Rescuers said they tracked the man’s location using his phone’s signal, and it showed he was near Waimano Pool.

A rescue helicopter spotted the hiker shortly after 4:30 p.m. and lowered a rescuer to him, the department said.

The rescuer guided the hiker to an area to be airlifted, and he was safely flown to Waiau District Park, according to rescuers.

Manana Ridge Trail, a nearly 7-mile “out-and-back trail,” is a “challenging route,” that takes more than three hours to finish, according to AllTrails.

Pearl City is about 5 miles southeast of O‘ahu.

What to do if you get lost while hiking

If you think you’re getting lost, experts say it’s best to stop where you are and not panic. You should go over how you got to that point and if you’re able to see any landmarks around.

“Do not move at all until you have a specific reason to take a step,” officials with the U.S. Forest Service said.

You should come up with a plan but stay put unless you are “very, very confident in the route.”

There are steps hikers can take to avoid getting lost and be better prepared for the unexpected:

  • Have more than enough food and water with you.

  • Take a compass that you know how to use, or have a GPS device on hand.

  • Don’t rely solely on your cellphone. It probably won’t work because of a lack of signal or a depleted battery.

  • Study the terrain and your route, and you should know how you’ll return.

  • Have the right clothing. Sturdy hiking boots and layers can help you be prepared for rapidly changing weather.

  • Pack a blanket, flashlight and matches.

  • Check with a local ranger for special warnings. They can tell you about “fires in the area, bear sightings, flooding, trail or road closures.”

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