LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nightfall has forced rescuers to conclude the air and sea-based search for a missing female hiker who was reportedly swept away while attempting to cross Hanakapiai Stream Thursday afternoon.
At around 3:45 p.m., hikers coming out of the Hanakapiai Valley began notifying Kee Beach lifeguards of hikers stranded on the far side of Hanakapiai Stream due to a rise in the water level.
Rescue 3 personnel aboard Air 1 were en route to assist the stranded hikers when they were then notified of a woman who was apparently swept downstream while attempting to cross the stream. The woman's identity is not yet known.
Originally reported as roughly 20 stranded hikers, officials have now confirmed over 50 hikers, along with two Rescue personnel, are stranded in the Hanakapiai Valley tonight, unable to cross the swollen stream.
Hazardous conditions, including strong winds and the stream's high water level, made today's search and rescue effort difficult.
Rescue 3 aboard Air 1, firefighters, and lifeguards from the Ocean Safety Bureau will be back on scene at first light to continue the search for the missing woman and assist the stranded hikers.
We will have more on this breaking story on Hawaii News Now.