Short cut off Kīlauea Iki Trail leads to tense moments
HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK – National Park search-and-rescue rangers found a missing 11 year old Canadian boy shortly after sunset on Tuesday. Park officials say the boy was separated from his parents when he took a shortcut off Kīlauea Iki Trail.
From the National Park Service:
The boy left Kīlauea Iki Trail from the crater floor, and attempted to shortcut his way up to the parking lot at Thurston Lava Tube, and got lost. His parents made it to the parking lot, but when they didn’t find their son waiting for them, the father went back down the trail. He was able to make voice contact with his son, but couldn’t locate him. Another visitor heard the boy yelling for help near Crater Rim Trail between the lava tube and Kīlauea Iki parking lots. The visitor found the boy’s mother at Thurston Lava Tube parking lot, and called park dispatch to report the missing child.
Five search-and-rescue rangers responded shortly after sunset, and the boy was located off trail about an hour afterwards, with only minor cuts and scrapes. It took another hour for rangers to hike him back out to the trail. He was reunited with his family, who expressed their gratitude to the rangers.Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park news release
Park rangers have rescued several hikers who tried to shortcut Kīlauea Iki Trail. They end up getting stuck due to earth cracks, cliffs, and thick vegetation. This incident fortunately had a happy ending but it serves as a good reminder to stay on trails. Hikers can be seriously injured or killed, and it puts rescuers at risk as well.”Acting Chief Ranger John Broward