A hiker who ventured off a trail above Sunset Beach Elementary was rescued by Honolulu firefighters as he clung to a tree on a cliff.

According to a Honolulu Fire Department summary, rescuers responded to a 7:23 a.m. 911 call reporting a hiker in distress near the Ehukai Pillbox Trail. HFD sent four units with 13 personnel and the first unit arrived 10 minutes after the call.

Rescuers were told that a 21-year-old man was hiking alone on the trail when he left the trail “for unknown reasons,” HFD officials said.

“The hiker said he was now holding onto a tree on a cliffside, unable to go up or down,” HFD said in the summary.

Two firefighters ascended the trail on foot while others secured a landing zone for HFD’s Air 1 helicopter.

At 8:10 a.m., personnel aboard Air 1 located the hiker and lowered a rescuer on a rope, officials said. He was secured in a harness with the rescuer, and they were flown safely to the landing zone.

The hiker declined an assessment by Honolulu Emergency Medical Services paramedics.

HFD officials offered the following tips for hikers:

>> Assess your fitness level and hiking experience, then compare it with the trail description.

>> Be practical and realistic. “There are a wide variety of trails in Hawaii, so pick one that suits your level,” they said.

>> Finally, stay on the trail.

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