Missing/Overdue Hunter found safe and in good health Monday Afternoon (May 18th).
Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Hilo and Holualoa) Team
The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will continue to search for overdue/missing hunter in the Hilo Forest Reserve near Kaumana Sunday evening (May 17th).
The initial call came in at 8:09 pm Sunday evening and HFD crews from the Kaumana, Haihai, and Waiakea Fire Stations along with Battalion 1, HPD officers from the South Hilo Patrol, and DLNR DOCARE officers responded to the scene located at the 12.5-mile marker on Highway 200 (Daniel K. Inouye Highway or Saddle Road) in South Hilo.
Upon the arrival of emergency crews, a call came in from a family member that a hunter (described as a male being in his 30's) had failed to return after leaving early Sunday morning and the family member was unable to make contact with the hunter by phone. The family member responded to the scene and located the hunter's vehicle, where they did not find any signs of the hunter had returned and awaited the arrival of emergency crews.
Once emergency crews arrived at the scene, HFD, HPD, and DOCARE personnel began a ground search of the immediate area and also the area where the hunter was reported to be hunting per the reporting party.
Unable to find any immediate signs for the hunter, HFD, HPD, and DLNR crews suspended their initial search for the night and will resume at first light Monday morning (May 18th).
HFD crews returned to the area at first light Monday morning and continued with a ground search and also commenced aerial search using Chopper 1 to do a search further more into the Hilo Forest Reserve.
At 12:31 pm Monday afternoon, HFD crews located the missing hunter near the Wailuku River within the Hilo Forest Reserve. HFD personnel did a quick assessment and found the hunter was uninjured and in good health. Hunter was extricated using the Billy Pugh Net from Chopper 1 to the command post located near Highway 200.
HFD Medics determined the hunter did not require any further medical assistance/transport.