Calif. boy, 15, falls 25 feet into steam vent; rescued by park crews

Published On: Apr 11 2013 10:55:12 AM HST

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii -

Officials at the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park say a 15-year-old boy from San Rafael, Calif. who fell 25 feet into a steaming earth crack at the park Wednesday was rescued by park search and rescue personnel.

Hawaii County fire crews based in the park also assisted in the rescue.

At around 6:43 p.m., the boy's mother called 911.  It was reported that the boy attempted to leap over the protective railing surrounding a steam vent between the Kilauea Visitor Center and Volcano House.

Crews rappelled into the deep, narrow, chimney-like crack and and rescued the boy.  The teen suffered a bump in his head and minor abrasions.

The boy's family declined further treatment and he was released at the scene.

"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."

Orlando also said rescues like this put park  staff and first responders at risk.

Last year, the park's search and rescue crews responded to a total of 26 incident.  This was the seventh incident so far in 2013.

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