In viral video, man swims yards from oozing lava

(Image: Kawika Singson/Facebook)
(Image: Kawika Singson/Facebook)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The photographer known for a viral image that showed him shooting lava with his shoes and tripod on fire is getting new attention, this time for a video of a man swimming incredibly close to lava oozing into the ocean on the Big Island.

Kawika Singson says he shot the video months ago, but it just recently took off online after being picked up by national media.

Singson's video, posted on YouTube, shows a man swimming just offshore of the Big Island near a Kilauea ocean entry.

In reaction to the video, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and others renewed their calls for safety near the lava.

USGS geologist Janet Babb said swimming near lava is, simply, a very bad idea.

"It's super-heated steam laced with hydrochloric acid from the interaction with the seawater and has shards of volcanic glass," she told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's something to be avoided."

The video comes as USGS and the National Park Service grow increasingly wary about how close some spectators and tour boats are getting to Hawaii Island's lava flows.

Lava from Kilauea started entering the ocean in July for the first time since 2013.

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