volcano lava

By Lauren Campbell

These tourists were really feeling the heat – as their sightseeing boat came perilously close to a flow of volcano lava.

And incredibly, one tourist can be spotted standing just yards from the source of the lava flow, spilling into the ocean below.

PIC BY Eric Leifer/ Caters News

As he films the lava streaming into the water, steam erupts from the sea below him and jets into the sky.

In another picture, a group of tourists in a boat sail perilously close to the plumes of steam, which are common in the area.

The tourists were photographed by 30-year-old photographer Eric Leifer, near the Hawaiian town of Kalpana, in February.

He said: “This lava flow has been flowing out of the Kilauea Volcano for 34 years and counting.

PIC BY Eric Leifer/ Caters News

“Volcano lava boat tours are a somewhat common occurrence on the island, and are highly controversial because of the obvious safety concerns.

“Ocean entries of lava are highly explosive and dangerous, so keeping a safe distance is a very good idea!

“Though the risks of approaching an ocean entry of lava are high, and it really comes down to current conditions and how much of a risk you want to put yourself in.

PIC BY Eric Leifer/ Caters News

“The primary problem is the instability of the surrounding cliffs, since they collapse occasionally.  If you are in the area when this happens, it won’t end very well for you.

“The photo of the guy really, really close to the lava made for a great photo from my perspective, although I wouldn’t recommend doing it and he clearly didn’t understand the risks.”