(BIVN) – A man fell into the Kīlauea Volcano caldera at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on Wednesday evening, and was later rescued after several tense hours.
UPDATE – The National Park Service issued a media release overnight that had more information:
Earlier, at about 6:30 pm, visitors reported that a man lost his footing and fell from a 300 foot cliff at Kīlauea caldera. The man had just climbed over a permanent metal railing at the Steaming Bluff overlook to get closer to the cliff edge. Responders arrived quickly after and began a coordinated search and rescue of the area. At approximately 9 pm, the man was found alive but seriously injured on a narrow ledge about 70 feet down from the cliff edge. Rescue personnel successfully completed a high angle extrication using ropes and stokes litter and, with support from a Department of Defense helicopter, the man was airlifted to Hilo Medical Center for urgent care.
UPDATE – According to a Hawaiʻi County Fire Department dispatch, National Park and County rescue personnel worked together to extricate male, estimated to be in his 30’s. The fire department wrote:
The caldera floor is more than 300 feet down, but the victim fell on a small ledge roughly 60 feet from the top. Rescue personnel worked together to extricate the victim in a stokes stretcher utilizing a rope raising system; once back on top, he was transported to Hilo Medical Center utilizing a military blackhawk. The patient was in critical condition: there were no injuries to HVNP or HFD personnel.
“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.”
The last fall fatality in the park occurred on October 29, 2017, the National Park Service noted.