Missing Hikers Found

Last Thursday, a Molokai High School graduate and two other parties went missing for more than 12 hours while hiking in the Kamakou Reserve, according to the Kaunakakai Fire Department.

Devon Kikugawa went hiking with two friends around noon on March 24, but didn’t return in a timely fashion. The fire department’s search and rescue team was dispatched at 8 p.m. that night, and called off the search at 2 a.m. with no sign of the girls. The search continued at 6 a.m.

“We sent out other units with volunteer civilians and hunters that knew the area, continuing along Forest Road and different roads in the Kawela area,” said Fire Captain Hanale Lindo.

At 9:10 a.m. volunteers reported to the fire department that the girls had been found. Mike Helm, Lauren Kikugawa and Micky Duvauchelle were searching on ATVs that morning and spotted the girls walking along Forest Road. An ambulance met the parties at Homelani Cemetery where they were checked out and released in good condition.

“There was no panic, it was very well planned,” said Devon’s father, John Kikugawa. “I have praise for the fire department and the community, and our friends and family.”

Lindo said there are about one or two search and rescues a year on Molokai.

“The beauty about Molokai is the whole effort revolves around community,” he said. “A big Mahalo to volunteers, the Forestry Department, police, the fire department, and hunters” that helped.

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