Hawaii Fire rescues 7 trespassing hikers from flash flood in Waimea stream

KAILUA-KONA — No injuries were reported after seven trespassing hikers were rescued from a Waimea stream during a flash flooding warning Saturday afternoon.

The incident was initially reported to authorities at 4:18 p.m. When first responders arrived on scene at Anna’s Ranch, which is posted as private property, they found three people on the west side of the stream.


“They reported that there were a total of 13 in the party that were swimming in the mountain stream when a flash flood came through without warning,” according to a press release from Hawaii Fire Department. “Search immediately began along the stream for the missing.”

Battalion Chief Michael Grace said the group was from Youth With a Mission from Univerity of Nations in Kona.

Chopper 1 responded to the scene to assist in the search. According to the release, three people from the group were located walking through the northside pasture.

A short time later, four others were found in different areas stranded on the rocks along the stream. They were rescued and then air lifted to the staging area to be treated by waiting medic units.

“A while later the final three hikers were located on the rocks behind a large waterfall,” the release states. “Extrication involved technical rope rescue and repelling/ascending 150-200-foot cliffs in dark, windy and rainy conditions over a five-hour period.”

No serious injuries were reported.


Despite the stream being on private property, Grace said, it’s very common for people to go there to swim. He added the fire department usually responds to the area once or twice a year for rescues. There have been drownings in the past as well.

“It’s amazing that no one was serious hurt and there were no fatalities,” Grace said.

  1. Scott Burton November 4, 2018 11:14 am

    …. ‘University of the Nations’ is not an accredited school. It is the Christian organization YWAM that charges other church congregations huge fees to send their ‘youth’ to be ‘educated’. Seems like they would inform/teach their paid visitors against trespassing. At the very least, inform them about respecting Nature. Is YWAM (University of the Nations) going to pay the thousands of dollars back to the County for their members’ rescue?

  2. Kaipo Wall November 4, 2018 11:37 am

    Another YWAM trespassing hiker lost her life at Hi’ilawe Falls in Waipio Valley a few years ago . She too was part of a trespassing group from that institution .Along with teaching them about the Lord , they need to emphasize comporting to private property rights while staying here on the Big Island

  3. onceawarrior November 4, 2018 11:55 am

    ‘University of the Nations’ is irresponsible in not teaching members of YWAM to respect private property and local customs. Being presumptuous about trespassing is not.

  4. KonaDude November 5, 2018 7:26 am

    Our youth could care less if you worked hard to buy some property, they feel they can do anything they want…

  5. MilitantModerate November 5, 2018 7:35 am

    what would Jesus do? walk on the water? give them a misdemeanor ticket for being dopes….

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