Warning: This article contains an image that some readers may find distressing.
Everyone’s got some pretty embarrassing travel stories, but we’d say that few are quite as crazy as what happened to this poor guy who was visiting Italy’s Mt Vesuvius.
A 23-year-old American and his family were visiting the active volcano earlier this month, ignoring signage and bypassing a visitor turnstile before walking along an out-of-bounds path.
When they reached the summit of the volcano he tried to take a selfie but he dropped his phone and then fell while he was trying to retrieve it.
The man dropped several metres and had to be rescued by a helicopter, police and mountain guides, the latter of which abseiled down to lift him out.
The man had to be treated for cuts and bruises on his back and arms.
To pour metaphorical salt on the wounds, the tourist and his family are now facing criminal charges.
Paolo Cappelli, the president of the Presidio Permanente Vesuvio, told NBC that the man was very lucky to have made it out with just cuts and bruises.
“He tried to recover (his phone), but slipped and slid a few meters into the crater. He managed to stop his fall, but at that point he was stuck,” Cappelli said.
“He was very lucky. If he kept going, he would have plunged 300 meters into the crater.”
The man has been taken into custody by local Carabinieri police, NBC reported.
It’s unclear what charges he may face.
Mt Vesuvius, which is located about 9 kilometres east of Naples, famously erupted in 79AD burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum under four to six meters of volcanic ash and pumice.
The cities uncovered largely preserved giving modern archaeologists a snapshot into ancient Roman life and are now major tourist attractions.