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Contact: Jessica Ferracane/Public Affairs Specialist, 808-345-4216
Hawaii National Park, Hawai'i –An 11-year-old boy from Canada who took a shortcut off Kīlauea Iki Trail was located by park rangers and reunited with his family Tuesday night, March 17.
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.
"Park rangers have rescued several hikers who tried to shortcut Kīlauea Iki Trail," said Acting Chief Ranger John Broward. "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," he said.