Hawaii Fire Department personnel rescued a man in his 60s who suffered an apparent broken thighbone off a Maunakea trail just below the W.M. Keck Observatory Monday evening.
According to a written HFD statement, the man sustained the injury to the largest bone in his body when the ground shifted below him as he tried to take a photograph. Fire rescuers were assisted by a Maunakea ranger and personnel from the Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area.
First responders received the alarm at 7:26 p.m. with the first unit arriving on scene at 9:45 p.m. The last unit returned to quarters at 3:48 a.m. today.
With temperatures in the 30s, dangerous terrain in the darkness and oxygen deprivation at 12,500-foot elevation, it took responders a half-hour to hike the mile from the trail head to the man’s location. Six rescuers at a time carried the man, but had to stop every 10 feet or so to catch their breath.
It took about 3 1/2 hours to navigate the mile distance and 700-foot elevation gain to carry the patient to the trail head. Rescuers also fought elevation sickness, according to the statement.