A man survived a 70-foot fall into the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii after he reportedly climbed over guardrails to get a better look at the cliff. The man, in his 30s, was visiting the Halemaumau crater’s Steaming Bluff overlook, on Hawaii Island, when he decided to climb over permanent metal railings to get closer to the cliff.
Witnesses report seeing him losing his footing and falling off a 300-foot cliff into the volcano’s caldera at 6:30 pm on Wednesday 1 May, according to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park authorities.
- Related: 35 Homes Destroyed and 1,800 Residents Evacuated | Volcano Kilauea Showing no Signs of Slowing Down
Rescue personnel found the man seriously injured on a narrow ledge about 70 feet down from the cliff edge at about 9 pm and completed a high-angle extrication. The man was airlifted to Hilo Medical Centre for urgent care with support from a US Department of Defence helicopter.
“Visitors should never cross safety barriers, especially around dangerous and destabilized cliff edges,” said Chief Ranger John Broward. “Crossing safety barriers and entering closed areas can result in serious injuries and death.”
Kilauea is the most active of Hawaii’s five volcanoes, and one of the most active in the US. It has been erupting since the early 1980s, and erupted for three straight months last year, spewing ash about 30,000 feet into the sky and destroying Hawaii’s largest natural freshwater lake, as well as over 700 homes.