A 15-year-old boy from San Rafael, Calif., was rescued by Park Search and Rescue personnel after falling 25 feet into a steam vent at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Wednesday night.
The HVNP SAR team and Hawaii County fire crews based in the park responded to a 911 call from the victim’s mother at approximately 6:43 p.m. It was reported that the youth had attempted to leap over the protective railing surrounding a steam vent between Kilauea Visitor Center and Volcano House.
Park SAR Coordinator John Broward, assisted by the fire department, rappelled into crack and rescued the boy, who suffered a bump on his head and minor abrasions. His family declined further medical treatment, and he was released at the scene following assessment by emergency responders.
“This young visitor and his family are extraordinarily lucky that he survived this mishap,” Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said. “This incident serves as a reminder that park visitors are urged to stay on trails and not engage in reckless behavior while visiting their national parks.”
Rescues like this also put park staff and other first responders at risk, Orlando noted.
This is the seventh SAR mission conducted by park staff so far this year. Last year, park SAR crews responded to a total of 26 incidents.