Video shows kayakers venturing into boiling waters near lava 'fi - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Video shows kayakers venturing into boiling waters near lava 'firehose'

(Image: Rafa Ortiz/Facebook) (Image: Rafa Ortiz/Facebook)
VOLCANO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A day after the Coast Guard established a new restricted zone around the Big Island's Kamokuna ocean entry, a new video shows kayakers getting dangerously close to the popular lava "firehose."

The video was shot in January, and features professional kayaker Rafa Ortiz and others. But Red Bull recently featured the kayak trip on its website, and other publications have picked up the video.

The new footage is likely to make officials' battle to keep lava spectators at a safe distance all the more difficult.

The lava hose stopped last week, but other nearby areas have active lava flows and already officials have had to contend with people try to swim and surfboard near lava.

The Coast Guard created the restricted zone around Kamokuna this week because of the threat of a cliff collapse. Under the new rules, boaters must stay at least 300 meters from the area where the lava enters the ocean. 

"There was more hazards and dangers that were brought to our attention, so we wanted to implement that safety zone as soon as possible to prevent anything from happening," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Lavasser.

Those dangers also include volcanic shrapnel, toxic gases and potential bench collapses.

The Coast Guard says it worked with scientists and the U.S. Geological Survey to establish the temporary safety zone, using 30 years of data of delta collapses and observations.

It's unclear how close the kayakers come in the video they posted on Facebook. 

But one of the kayakers, Dane Jackson, acknowledged that the situation was very dangerous.

"There are lava bombs flying everywhere, steam is flying high into the sky and I'm sitting in boiling water," he said. "At one point, I stuck my hand into the water to splash my GoPro and it was normal temperature; then I stuck it in again right after and it was like sticking my hand into a pot of boiling water."

He added, "We were close enough that an explosion of lava bombs would land a few feet in front of us and we’d immediately start back paddling. We had to make sure that the lava rocks floating in the water didn't touch our hands or boats or else they would melt."

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