Man Remarkably Survives Fall Into Kilauea Volcano

Top photo credit: CC Volcanoes National Park

A 32-year-old man remains in stable condition after he climbed over a guardrail and fell over a 300-foot cliff at Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park.

A soldier stationed at Schofield Barracks fell off a cliff into the Kilauea caldera Wednesday, a park spokesman told Hawaii News Now. Ben Hayes, the acting spokesman for Volcanoes National Park, said another visitor saw the man climb over a metal guardrail at Steaming Bluff overlook around 6:30 p.m.

According to the report, the “ground underneath him apparently gave way.” Authorities said the 32-year-old man fell off a 300-foot cliff but, amazingly, landed on a narrow ledge 70 feet below the edge. It took multiple rescue crews over 3 hours to reach him.


Matthias Kusch, Hawaii County Fire Department battalion chief, told reporters that rescuers managed to rappel down, secure the man to a stretcher, and airlift him to Hilo Medical Center around 9:40 p.m. Doctors said the man was critically injured, but they upgraded his condition to “stable” on Thursday.

“He obviously is doing remarkably well for his fall. Only time will tell what injuries he has,” Kusch said.

Last spring, Kilauea made news after it erupted and wreaked havoc on the Big Island’s southeast coast. The last fatality at Volcanoes National Park occurred in 2017.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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