Destinations

Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania boss urges tourists to respect volcanoes following rescue incident

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Tourists of Hawaii have been warned to respect the dangers of volcanoes and the safety measures in place after a man fell into one late last week.

Hawaii County firefighters and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park rangers rescued a man who fell from a cliff at Kīlauea caldera on Friday after he climbed over a permanent metal railing at the Steaming Buff overlook to get closer to the cliff edge, according to Hawaii Firefighters Association.

The man lost his footing and fell from a 300-foot cliff and responders, upon arrival, began a coordinated search-and-rescue of the area.

At approximately 9pm local time, the man was found alive but seriously injured on a narrow ledge about 70-feet down from the edge. He was airlifted to Hilo Medical Center for urgent care.

Kīlauea is the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the Island of Hawaiʻi and is estimated to be between 210,000 and 280,000 years old.

The volcano’s last set of eruptions between May and August 2018 covered approximately 13.7 square miles of land in the lower-Puna area with lava, leaving behind a path of destruction and creating an estimated 875 acres of new land.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania’s country manager for Australia, Giselle Radulovic, said that coming face-to-face with an active volcano is an unforgettable experience.

“The chance to see a natural wonder at close range makes Kilauea and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park one of most popular sites to visit on the Island of Hawaii,” she said.

“However, visitors should respect the dangers of being near one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

“Safety barriers are there for a reason, so please pay attention to warning signs and follow instructions from park staff,” she said.

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