A dog barking near a hiking trail in Hawaii helped a rescue team locate his missing owner, who was found about 170 feet below a trail along a steep mountain slope.
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The Honolulu Fire Department set out to find the 35-year-old woman, who was last seen on Monday afternoon on the Lanipo Trail in Kaimuki, a local neighborhood in the area. Rescuers who responded within 15 minutes of a 911 call about the woman first spotted her dog, believed to be a Samoyed.
Fire personnel had received reports of the barking dog from other hikers, who said that the canine was a couple hours from the trailhead, unaccompanied and on the side of the trail, according to a news release from the department.
After locking in on the dog’s location, a rescuer was able to rappel down and retrieve the dog. The rescuer noticed a bag with personal items about 70 feet below the dog’s location.
As they began to care for the dog, rescuers found the name and phone number of his owner printed on his collar, as well as the dog’s name, Ullr. Despite numerous attempts to locate Ullr’s owner, they were unable to reach her.
It wasn’t until they began to gather more information about the woman that they realized that she might still be out on the trail.
After an extensive aerial and ground search, the rescue team found the woman about 100 feet below the bag’s location under thick foliage, according to the department.
The woman was provided “basic life support treatment” before she was airlifted off the side of the mountain.
It’s unclear what the extent of her injuries were and a department spokeswoman declined to provide an update on her condition to USA TODAY on Wednesday.
Hiker dies over the weekend in Hawaii
Meanwhile on the island of Kauai, a 30-year-old man died after falling off the trail to Hanakāpī‘ai Falls, an iconic spot along the wildly popular and somewhat treacherous Kalalau Trail in Hāʻena, according to Kaua‘i police.
Matthew Wu of New York fell to his death on Sunday and was found about 30 feet below the falls.
Parts of the trail to Hanakāpī‘ai Falls are “very narrow and the dropoff is severe,” police said.
“Kauaʻi Police Department would like to remind the public to use caution when hiking Kauaʻi’s trails, especially in wet weather.”
Hikers also report that the trail where the woman was found on Monday can be treacherous when wet and muddy.
Heavy rains fell across Hawaii early last week, with flood alerts being issued throughout the islands and flights being canceled. Trails often remain muddy and slippery for days or longer after heavy storms in Hawaii.