National Geographic : 1991 Aug
JEFF JUDD HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK JeffJudd is a law-enforcement officer, but at Hawaii Volcanoes everybody ends up doing first aid. Despite signs warn ing about heat exhaustion, poisonous fumes, and the razor-like edges of lava underfoot, visitors get into trouble hik ing in to see the spectacular flow streaming down Kilauea. They wear sandals on the sharp, slick flow or, dis regarding hazard signs, trek out on the lava outcrop that hangs tenuously over the Pacific and can break at any time without warning. "You can't stop them. We treat NationalPark Service at 75 injuries all day," says Judd, descended from a personal physician to Hawaiian kings, here bandaging an injured hand. Visitor protection is a constant head ache, and sometimes heartache, at all parks. Rangers can tell an unending litany of horror stories about visitor negligence. Some end in death. At a western national recreation area some years ago, a man took his young son fishing but brought only one life vest along. When the boat capsized, he put the vest on his son and pushed him toward shore. "I love you," he said.