A 23-year-old traveler visiting Italy from the United States fell into Mount Vesuvius on Saturday. According to ABC News, the man was trespassing in the active volcano when he dropped his phone while taking a selfie and attempted to retrieve it. He was accompanied by an Austrian, two Brits, and two other Americans.
Using an unauthorized pathway, he accessed Mount Vesuvius and hiked 1,281 meters up to its summit. He fell into the ash, sustaining minor injuries, and was rescued by park officials.
Visitors to Mount Vesuvius must purchase tickets to enter. A limited number of 2,700 are available daily. On Saturday, they were completely sold out. A spokesperson from the Carabinieri of the Forestry Department of the Park of Vesuvius reported to ABC News that he suspects the tourist took the unauthorized pathway due to tickets being sold out.
Around 3 p.m., park guides saw several people on a part of the crater that does not have barriers and is off limits to visitors. Local news sources reported the park’s volcano guides had spotted people on the upper part of the crater, an area forbidden for solo access. They saw the man fall and immediately began trying to rescue him. After lifting the man from the crater, the guides administered first aid to injuries to his back, arms, and legs.
The man and the other trespassing parties were taken into custody by the Branch of Carabinieri and charged with “encroachment on public land or land for public use.” They may receive a fine for their actions.
Paolo Cappelli, President of the Volcano Vesuvius Permanent Presidium and Figav-Confesercenti, said, “[The guides] are always on the crater to safeguard the safety of tourists. So, recognizing the promptness and professionalism shown on this occasion as well seemed the right thing to do.”
“Having spoken directly with those who provided the rescue, I can safely say that last Saturday on Mount Vesuvius they saved a human life. I officially thank the whole group of guides belonging to the Presidio Permanente Vulcano Vesuvio, always ready and operational in any condition.”