Hiker vanishes for hours, then friends discover body on trail, Hawaii officials say

After a hiker went missing on a Hawaii trail, a group of friends set out to find him and discovered his body, officials said.

They found their friend’s body about 45 minutes into the Ohana-Mahalo Trail in Waimanalo on the island of Oahu, the Honolulu Fire Department said in a news release. The area is on the eastern side of the island.

The group called 911 just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, officials said.

Rescuers flew to the location in a helicopter, packaged the body for transport and flew it to a landing zone, where they met Emergency Medical Services shortly after 7 p.m., officials said.

Officials said the hiker had been injured but did not release further details.

The Ohana Trail is a moderate 4-mile trail in the Waimanalo Forest Reserve near Kailua that takes about 2.5 hours to hike, according to All Trails.

“Stay hydrated and prepare for the unexpected, including experiencing an injury,” officials said in the release. “Know your physical abilities and limitations; select trails that can be enjoyed safely. Plan to allow enough time to exit the trail before it gets dark or in the event an injury occurs.”

How to be prepared while hiking

If you’re planning to hike, the National Park Service says there are 10 essentials you should take:

  • Navigation: Pack a map, compass and a GPS system. Make sure you study your route beforehand and understand how to use the tools.

  • Sun protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat can help protect your skin and eyes from UV rays.

  • Insulation: A jacket, hat, gloves, raincoat and thermal underwear can help you be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions.

  • Illumination: A flashlight, lantern and headlamp can create light if you get stuck in the dark — and don’t forget to pack extra batteries.

  • First-aid supplies: It’s a good idea to have a first-aid kit on hand while hiking. Check the expiration date on items before you pack them.

  • Fire: Matches and a lighter can help start fire to act as an emergency signal in times of need.

  • Repair kit and tools: Duct tape, a knife, screwdriver and scissors can be helpful if items break during your hike or you need assistance.

  • Nutrition: You should pack an extra day’s worth of food in case something goes wrong. Park officials recommend having “salty and easy to digest snacks.”

  • Hydration: You should drink water often and before you feel thirsty if you’re hiking in hot weather. Keeping your body hydrated is “of utmost importance,” park officials said.

  • Emergency shelter: Packing a tent, space blanket, tarp and bivy can help you be prepared if severe weather breaks out or your plan takes a turn.

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