HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Crews responded to another rescue involving hikers on an unsanctioned trail, but this one was a false alarm. A 911 call about wild pigs sparked a search for seven people in Palolo Valley at about 4:30 p.m. on Monday. The hikers ranged in age from 14 to 30 years old.
The seven embarrassed hikers walked out two and a half hours after the 911 call that sparked an air and ground search. Authorities said they were on the Waiomao Trail that leads to Kaau Crater. Crews set up at Palolo Valley District Park after receiving the request for help.
"They were in a streambed running from some pigs that were possibly either chasing them or attacking their dog. They weren't lost, but they requested our assistance," said Capt. Gary Lum of the Honolulu Fire Department.
Rescuers made contact with the group, but the hikers initially denied making the call. The search continued, but when no other people were found on the trail, authorities questioned them again and they confessed.
"Those are the ones that they're gonna get it. When everybody's gone, you guys know what's gonna happen," said Lia Atiga, the mother and grandmother of some of the hikers.
Atiga said four of her children, two grandchildren, and three of her neighbor's kids set out in the morning. Two of her children hiked out before the rest of the group. Police said her granddaughter saw a pig and panicked, calling 911.
"If you called, just say you called. Don't beat around the bush. Don't do that. If you needed help, just say you needed help," said Atiga.
"Anytime we've got resources assigned up here, they're not available for other calls elsewhere," Lum said.
Authorities lectured the hikers on their way out, but the group wasn't cited since police said there was no criminal intent.