An American tourist had to be rescued on Mount Vesuvius near Naples after he apparently slipped into the Italian volcano’s crater while trying to recover his fallen cellphone, news reports and the association of Vesuvius park guides said.
The tourist and family members were cited by Carabinieri police because they went off the authorized path to get closer to the crater on Saturday afternoon, apparently to take a selfie, the LaPresse news agency said.
The head of the Confesercenti tourism association for Vesuvius, Paolo Cappelli, said four volcano guides responded immediately after one noticed the tourist had fallen into the crater and was in “serious difficulty.”
In a statement, Cappelli said the guides lowered a rope 15 meters (50 feet) into the crater, pulled the tourist out and provided initial first aid, after he suffered abrasions on his legs, arm and back. Carabinieri park police then arrived and brought the American to the police station to file the complaint, Cappelli said.
“The life of volcanological guides is not simple: they are always on the crater to safeguard the safety of tourists,” Cappelli said in a Facebook post. “Having spoken directly with the rescuers, I can safely say that last Saturday on Vesuvius they saved a human life.”
Mount Vesuvius, which erupted in AD 79 and devastated the nearby town of Pompeii, is a popular spot for hiking.
Archaeologists are still uncovering extraordinary structures in the region. In 2020, they announced the discovery of an extremely well preserved ancient “snack bar” as well as skeletal remains of people attempting to escape the eruption.