It’s bad enough when tourists put themselves in danger for a selfie, but it’s much worse when they do so in a prohibited region of an attraction. This is how a man from Maryland ended up needing a helicopter rescue from the top of Mount Vesuvius during his family’s vacation to Italy.
Phillip Carroll, 23, of the Old Line State was visiting the famous volcano with two other family members this past Saturday. Mount Vesuvius, located beside Naples, towers 4,200 feet over the popular tourist city. This makes it one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
When Carroll and his family made their way to the geological wonder, they decided to take the path less traveled (which, sorry Robert Frost, is never a good idea) and wander into a forbidden portion of the volcano. From there, they managed to reach the top of the summit.
“This family took another trail, closed to tourists, even if there was a small gate and ‘no access’ signs,” Paolo Cappelli, the president of the Presidio Permanente Vesuvio, told NBC.
Naturally, Carroll wanted to pose for the memorable moment and snapped a selfie. He managed to get the picture without issue, but then his phone tumbled down the crater. And the traveler quickly followed suit.
It almost sounds like a verse of a nursery rhyme.
Mount Vesuvius Tour Guides Have to Call Officials to Rescue Tourist
Of course, the story doesn’t end there. Watching from a safe distance from behind a pair of binoculars, Presidio Permanente Vesuvio guides saw Carroll fall into the crater and rushed to help. Apparently, Carroll had lost his balance while standing near the edge.
“He tried to recover (his balance), but slipped and slid a few meters into the crater. He managed to stop his fall, but at that point he was stuck,” Cappelli shared.
Unfortunately, the crater doesn’t have any stable handholds along the walls. So, the 23-year-old couldn’t simply walk out. Instead, they had to call in the professionals and have a mountain rescue helicopter extract Carroll.
Officers deployed a long rope to lift the selfie-enthusiast out of the crater. Once away from the volcanic site, police took the man into custody as they ascertain whether Carroll will face charges for invading public land. Meanwhile, Carroll only suffered minor injuries from his fall. With only a couple of scratches and cuts on his arms and legs, the 23-year-old got off easy from the slip.
Clearly, Carroll and his two relatives were having a grand time at the top of the volcano before the incident. Hopefully, more than anything, Carroll learned to stay on the beaten path and away from the edge.