Lost hiker calls for help with dying phone battery as night falls, Hawaii rescuers say


Firefighters tracked the lost hiker through her phone’s geolocation before it died. — AP

A 30-year-old woman became lost on a Hawaii trail and called rescuers before her phone died, fire officials said.

The woman began hiking the Upper Waimano Trail in Pearl City on the island of Oahu around 1pm on Sunday, April 2, the Honolulu Fire Department said in a news release.

When she became lost, she called for help at 7.37pm, rescuers said. Her phone battery was at 16%.

But firefighters tracked her through her phone’s geolocation before it died.

A helicopter was sent to find the woman but had to retreat because of heavy rainfall, fire officials said.

Instead, rescuers found the woman on foot around 10.30pm. She was not injured, officials said.

She was brought off the trail safely just after 1am.

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 US 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, wildlife sightings, flooding, trail or road closures.” – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service

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