A movie cameraman has been rescued from the mouth of a Hawaiian volcano, two days after a helicopter crash stranded him inside the smoldering crater.
A brief break in the weather yesterday gave a Maui helicopter pilot just enough time to spot Michael Benson, 42, inside Kilauea Volcano's Pu'u O'o vent, and lower a safety net to him, officials with the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park said.
"It was an very daring rescue," said Richard Rasp, a spokesman for the National Park Service. "Basically, the winds cleared the fume clouds out long enough for the pilot to spot the guy. He lowered his net blindly into the crater to where he thought
the guy was, and then he lifted out without even know if he had got the guy or not.
"It was a very happy ending to an incredible weekend," Mr. Rasp said.
Mr. Benson, a free-lance cameraman who lives in the Los Angeles area of West Hills, was taken to Hilo Hospital, where he was listed in good condition, officials said.
Mr. Benson and another cameraman were in Hawaii to shoot a few minutes of background footage for a new mystery movie, "Sliver." They hired a helicopter to fly into the volcano when it crashed Saturday.
The pilot and other cameraman were rescued earlier, but weather and fumes prevented Mr. Benson from getting out.