Manana trail mudslide traps hikers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Manana trail mudslide traps hikers

PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

At about 10 a.m. Monday, the Honolulu Fire Department got a phone call. A party of six hikers ranging in age from 10 to 21 needed help right away. The group was trapped near a waterfall on the Manana Trail in Pearl City.

"It's just one of those things. I'm not sure they were aware how heavy it was raining upstream," HFD Battalion Chief John Kino said.

DJ Lauser, his 10-year sister, Deena, and four others were swimming in a stream bed when the pond suddenly flooded with mud and water.

"It was really strong and just loud like 'Whoosh!' We just looked back and water was everywhere," Lauser said.

"There was just so much mud," Christian Deleon said.

He grabbed a cell phone and ran, searching for a signal to get out a 911 call.

"I couldn't even hear the phone," he said. "There was poor reception and a lot of things were going bad."

Three of the teenage boys in the group were stranded on one side of the rushing water.

"You could stand there and you could feel the current pushing you," Lauser said.

He used a rope to help two of them to the safer side of the stream. But the third was in a bad spot. The fire department airlifted the 15-year-old to safety.

"They lost their belongings, all of their belongings ended up downstream," Kino said.

Firefighters went in on foot and walked out with the rest of the group. Lauser piggybacked his little sister.

"I lost my backpack and my clothes. I think two of them lost their phones," Deena Lauser said.

The hikers set off at 8 a.m. They thought they could get in and out of the trail before the bad weather.

"It could be several hours before the rain up higher in the mountain reaches this level down here. It's hard to say when it's going to surge like this," Kino said.

Thankfully, no one was injured. Four of the hikers are Boy Scouts. Lauser is an Eagle Scout.

"The Boy Scout motto is be prepared," he said. "I don't think anything could prepare you for a mud slide like that."

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