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Hiker celebrating daughter’s birthday dies in fall down Hawaii trail, rescuers say

Nov 12, 2023

A 65-year-old tourist celebrating his daughter's birthday died in a fall down a Hawaii trail, according to rescuers and news outlets.

Rescuers responded to the fall at 7:39 a.m. Sunday, April 23, on the Lanikai Pillbox Trail in Kailua, the Honolulu Fire Department said in a news release.

Kailua is on the island of Oahu.

The hiker had suffered a medical emergency before falling 40 feet down the trail, fire officials said.

Onlookers tried to help the man until rescuers reached him, officials said.

He was then airlifted to a "landing zone," where EMS took over care, the fire department said.

When medical responders got to the scene, he was pronounced dead, Honolulu Emergency Services Department said.

The man was visiting from Maryland to celebrate his daughter's 30th birthday, Hawaii News Now reported.

"This is not the birthday the daughter was planning, and she is absolutely heartbroken," president and executive director of Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii Jessica Lani Rich told the news outlet.

The Lanikai Pillbox Trail is a popular 1.7-mile out-and-back trail, according to AllTrails.

The uphill hike has "very steep sections that require scrambling," the outdoor hiking app said.

If you’re planning to hike, the National Park Service says there are 10 essentials you should take:

Navigation: Pack a map, compass and a GPS system. Make sure you study your route beforehand and understand how to use the tools.

Sun protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat can help protect your skin and eyes from UV rays.

Insulation: A jacket, hat, gloves, raincoat and thermal underwear can help you be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions.

Illumination: A flashlight, lantern and headlamp can create light if you get stuck in the dark — and don't forget to pack extra batteries.

First-aid supplies: It's a good idea to have a first-aid kit on hand while hiking. Check the expiration date on items before you pack them.

Fire: Matches and a lighter can help start fire to act as an emergency signal in times of need.

Repair kit and tools: Duct tape, a knife, screwdriver and scissors can be helpful if items break during your hike or you need assistance.

Nutrition: You should pack an extra day's worth of food in case something goes wrong. Park officials recommend having "salty and easy to digest snacks."

Hydration: You should drink water often and before you feel thirsty if you’re hiking in hot weather. Keeping your body hydrated is "of utmost importance," park officials said.

Emergency shelter: Packing a tent, space blanket, tarp and bivy can help you be prepared if severe weather breaks out or your plan takes a turn.

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