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Ka'u Information Update # 2 for May 1st, 2019

Man Rescued from Kilauea Caldera following a fall near Steaming Bluffs

The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) Park Rangers Technical Rescue Team and Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) Blackhawk Medevac Team responded to technical rescue incident that occurred in the vicinity of Steaming Bluffs on the Kilauea Caldera trail Wednesday Evening (May 1st).


The initial call came in 6:49 pm Wednesday evening and crews from the Volcano and Waiakea (Rescue Company 2) Fire Stations along with Battalion 1 and Chopper 1 responded to the scene and upon the arrival of HFD personnel, Park Rangers received calls of a male party crossed over a railing near the steaming bluffs and after crossing over the ground suddenly gave way and person fell over the cliff approximately 40 to 70 feet down onto a small ledge on the caldera cliff.


Once HFD personnel arrived on scene, they located the male victim and rescue teams from both HFD and HVNP setup a high angle rescue rope system at the top of the caldera/trail and lowered personnel down to the victims location. At 9:40 pm Wednesday evening, rescue crews package the male victim and brought him back to the top of the caldera to awaiting HFD Medics and PTA Medevac personnel, where they later transported the male victim (reported to be in his 30's) via Blackhawk helicopter to the Hilo Medical Center with serious injuries.


In contrary to social media reports, there were several other incidents (Structure Fire in Ainaloa/Tiki Gardens and a medical call in Puna) ongoing at the time of HVNP incident, of which one incident was patient dead on arrival (DOA) at an address in Puna. Creating a lot of confusion on social media, fortunately that was not the outcome of the victim at the HVNP incident, as that victim was transported to the hospital in serious condition.


Since 1991, a few similar incidents occurred at Kilauea Caldera, of which several incidents were fatal. Crews say it's miracle that the male victim survived incident and was doing remarkably well, considering the fall he endured.


Circumstances of the incident remains under investigation and officials remind all visitors and park patrons to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to stay on marked trails, heed all warning signs, and stay out of restricted areas.

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