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Hiker on Mauna Loa spends night lost on mountain

Fire/rescue crews responded to a 10:02 p.m. alarm Wednesday (Oct 28) for a missing hiker on the slopes of Mauna Loa.

A 43 year-old woman had gone hiking with her husband at 1 p.m. on Wednesday (Oct 28) near the Mauna Loa Observatory. At about 1:45 p.m. the hikers became separated when the husband stopped to rest while the wife continued hiking. The husband was initially lost while looking for his wife but found his way back to the Mauna Loa Observatory at 9 p.m.

The husband stayed with fire/rescue crews at the Observatory for the search to continue at sunrise. At 7:25 a.m. on Thursday (Oct 29) Chopper One began an aerial search for the lost woman who had a cellphone and was talking to fire dispatchers. The woman could not identify the lava field she was in due to unfamiliarity with the area.

A second helicopter was brought in along with a ground crew from Pohakuloa Training Area to aid in the search. Using the hiker’s cellphone signal fire dispatchers were able to gain some information as to her coordinates and crews were able to find her. The woman was in good spirits, did not require medical attention other than something to drink.

Fire crews were back in quarters by 3:45 p.m.

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