Man Badly Injured After Falling Onto Ledge In Hawaiʻi Caldera

May 2, 2019

Halemaʻumaʻu Crater
Credit U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK — A man was seriously injured after crossing a safety barrier and falling onto a ledge inside a Hawaiʻi caldera, authorities said.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park rangers and Hawaiʻi Island fire crews rescued the man Wednesday night after he fell 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 meters) at Kilauea volcano's Halemaʻumaʻu crater on the Big Island, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

A military helicopter airlifted the man in critical condition to Hilo Medical Center.

The man, who was not named and is in his 30s, climbed over a metal railing at the Steaming Bluff overlook before falling from a 300-foot (91-meter) cliff.

A visitor reported the fall around 6:30 p.m., park officials said.

The man was found around 9 p.m. seriously injured on a narrow ledge about 70 feet (21 meters) from the edge.

Emergency personnel completed a "high-angle extrication using ropes and stokes litter," officials said.

"Visitors should never cross safety barriers, especially around dangerous and destabilized cliff edges," Chief Ranger John Broward said in a statement.