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San Rafael Teen Survives Falling Into Steam Vent At Hawaiian Volcano

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Authorities said a 15-year-old boy from San Rafael fell 25 feet down a steam vent at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on April 10, 2013. The boy was rescued and suffered minor injuries. (National Park Service)

Authorities said a 15-year-old boy from San Rafael fell 25 feet down a steam vent at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on April 10, 2013. The boy was rescued and suffered minor injuries. (National Park Service)

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SAN RAFAEL (KCBS) — A San Rafael boy is recovering after he fell 25 feet down a steam vent at a Hawaiian volcano on Wednesday.

Authorities said the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park SAR team, along with County of Hawaii Fire crews based in the park, responded to a 911 call from the victim’s mother at 6:43 p.m.

The boy fell when he reportedly attempted to leap over the protective railing surrounding a chimney-like steam vent between the Kilauea Visitor Center and Volcano House. Authorities said the shaft is warmed by the underlying volcano to about 120 degrees and moisture that comes in contact with the rock, creating steam.

Rescuers rappelled down the shaft and pulled the boy to safety. The boy suffered from scrapes and a bump on the head, but he refused medical treatment.

“This young visitor and his family are extraordinarily lucky that he survived this mishap,” said park superintendant Cindy Orlando. “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.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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