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.