With summer-like weather upon us, the sweltering heat has hit some hikers hard.
Many would like to get a birds-eye view of Diamond Head, and more than a half dozen unlucky hikers got that chance – in the rescue basket of the Honolulu Fire Department’s helicopter, after over heating on the trail.
Diamond Head is one of Oahu’s most popular hikes.
Under sunny skies, hundreds hit the walkway each day on their way to the top Which is nearly a mile away, after a rise in elevation of 750 feet.
“It was steep, but I heard all about it. So I brought water, lots of water,” said Rhonda DiGenova, a visitor from Washington.
That is not all hikers should bring or wear.
“A lot of sunscreen, and a lot of water,” added her nephew Zyler Tengan, who lives in Honolulu.
There are several signs around the park with reminders to bring water, wear a hat or sunscreen and walking shoes, but not everyone pays attention.
“We brought water, but not enough though. We should have brought more. We were on the way down regretting that we should have brought more water,” said Rene Tobar, a visitor from California.
Rene and his wife didn’t make it to the top, but at least they were able to walk back down.
Emergency personnel had to airlift out then six people for heat exhaustion or dehydration on Sunday alone.
“That was something out of the ordinary. There were 5 rescues handled with one response. We set up operations for the first incident and then 4 more people got into trouble. That’s the worst I’ve seen in 24 years,” said Capt. Scot Segiurant with the Honolulu Fire Department.
Another hiker had to be rescued Monday morning after apparently fainting from the heat.
Honolulu Fire Department crews make frequent rescues of injured and exhausted hikers at Diamond Head.
“Usually, either they are underestimating how difficult the hike will be or they are overestimating their hiking capabilities,” added Seguirant.
Stamina can be sapped under a blazing hot sun, as temperature soar and winds remain calm.
That can be seen at many of the numerous spots to stop along Diamond Head Trail, going up or going down.
“It was nice there were benches and spots to take a break. People were using those spots, I was too. But it was definitely enjoyable as always,” stated Kari Barnes, a visitor from California.
While the state has safety reminders on its website, along with hiking advice posted, would it help to have more warnings or more prominent safety signs to help hikers realize conditions ahead?
“I’m of the opinion that you could put more signs up, but not everyone is going to read them. Then again it couldn’t hurt, it could never hurt,” added DiGenova.
The hikers who ran into trouble on Diamond Head Trail ranged in age from 10-60 years old, and were both men and women.