Boy Scout Helps Rescue Injured Dog and Owners Lost on Hawaii Hiking Trail

A 12-year-old Boy Scout and his mother came to the rescue of a lost couple and their injured dog that were stranded on a Hawaii hiking trail.

O'ahu locals Aimee and JD were seven miles into a hike on the Waimano Trail on August 29, when they took a wrong turn. Smokey, their 100-pound pitbull, had suffered cuts to his paws, and was struggling to walk.

The couple had also run out of cell phone battery, had no food or water, and daylight was fading.

12 miles into their own hike were Christine King and her son David King, who stumbled across the group.

"We asked 'oh do you need any help?' They said 'yeah,' they showed us the dog's paws had some cuts on it. So it hurt when the dog would walk," David King told KHON2 News.

However, Smokey was too heavy for any of them to lift, and the Kings had no cell phone service to call for further assistance.

David King, a Boy Scout, then recalled a technique that he had learned from his older brother, an Eagle Scout.

Using a large tree branch that they snapped in half and threaded their shirts around, they were able to build a makeshift stretcher strong enough to support the weight of Smokey, and allow them to share the load.

"It was really tough, but we rotated," David King said. "Sometimes we did four people, two on each side, two people—my mom and the man—and then the dog would get off and walk some which was really helpful and let us relax."

Together they were able to walk the remaining three miles of the trail to safety.

"I think that when you help someone out it's like joy in you that... you know you did something good that day," said David King, who had initially been out on the trail in order to earn a Boy Scouts merit badge.

In June, the Honolulu Fire Department said that they had seen an increase in hiking rescue calls this year, and urged would-be trekkers to do their research and take safety precautions before hitting the trails.

These include choosing the right trail for your experience level, sticking to the trail, and taking a fully-charged phone and a battery pack.

It is also recommended that hikers wear suitable clothing, including something brightly colored, pack enough food and water, and check the weather ahead of time.

pitbull dog
A stock image shows a pitbull, unrelated to the rescue. David and his mom, Christine, crossed paths with a stranded couple and their hurt dog on an Oahu hiking trail. Getty Images