Hawaiian native Kawika Singson has posted a video to his YouTube channel showing him swimming absurdly close to the current lava flow on Hawaii’s Big Island. The incident, first reported by the SF Gate, happens as tens of thousands of tourists have been descending on Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for an up-close glimpse of the powerful force of nature.
Some visitors have chosen to stay a safe distance while capturing the dramtic scene like Jack Fusco did while capturing this incredible time-lapse film. Others have treaded dangerously close while capturing GoPro footage, as Signson has done in the past, as shown in the below compilation below.
USGS geologist Janet Babb, who works at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, told SF Gate in an earlier interview about the ‘Lava Firehose’:
It’s super-heated steam laced with hydrochloric acid from the interaction with the seawater and has shards of volcanic glass. It’s something to be avoided.
We just saw the danger and unpredictability of the hot shelf, which is weakened from the 2,000-degree lava. Now, we have established that this is incredibly dangerous, and most, if not all, of the 6,000 people daily who witness the lava do so by not swimming next to it in very rough sea conditions. But, is it illegal to be that close to the lava?
After all, famous adventurer Allison Teal paddled close to the lava last year, but she was easily behind the waves’ break.
Resource Travel has reached out to John Broward, head Ranger at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for comment, but have yet to receive a response.
So what do you think? Should this act, as crazy as it is, be legal? Let us know in the comments!