American Tourist Takes Selfie, Falls Into Mount Vesuvius

Guides abseiled down to rescue him
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2022 12:02 PM CDT
Updated Jul 16, 2022 5:05 PM CDT
American Tourist Takes Selfie, Falls Into Mount Vesuvius
The Mt. Vesuvius volcano towers over the remains of the ancient town of Pompeii in southern Italy.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(Newser) – Almost 2,000 years after Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and other Roman cities, an American tourist came close to becoming another volcano victim. Authorities say the 23-year-old man, who had been unable to book tickets online, took an unauthorized route to the edge of the volcano's crater and fell in after taking a selfie with three family members, Il Gazzettino Vesuviano reports. The man's phone reportedly fell out of his hand, and he lost his balance and fell at least 10 feet into the crater while trying to retrieve it.

Authorities say guides abseiled into the crater to rescue the man in an operation that also involved police and an Alpine rescue helicopter. The man wasn't seriously injured, but he was treated for cuts and bruises on his back, the Guardian reports. The man escaped "the wrath of the violated volcano," per Il Gazzettino, but he will be charged for invasion of public land, as will his relatives and another group caught using the unauthorized route, which is marked by signs warning that it is extremely dangerous. Vesuvius is still considered an active volcano, but it hasn't erupted since 1944. (This forest ranger in India took an ill-advised selfie with a rescued python.)

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