Redlands family injured in Hawaii volcano 'lava bomb'

Rob McMillan Image
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Redlands family injured in Hawaii volcano 'lava bomb'
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A family from Redlands on vacation in Hawaii was injured when hot lava bombed their tour boat.

A Redlands family was on a tour boat that was hit by lava bombs off Hawaii's Big Island.

More than 20 people were injured, including a member of the Li family.

Christopher Li suffered second and third-degree burns to his legs.

It wasn't something he had expected while on a family vacation and on a boat tour of the lava flow in Hawaii.

The tour boat, he recalled, was what was thought to be a safe distance from the volcano - though to him it felt pretty close.

"I had just said to my sister, this seems a little close," Christopher recalled. "And then it exploded."

And it was literally raining hot lava rocks.

Luckily his father, Kaming Li, is a doctor. He works at a surgery center in Ontario and used to be a trauma surgeon at USC. And his mother Dawn, is a nurse.

The Lis worked to help stabilize other tourists who were injured by the falling lava. Thirteen people were brought to a hospital, including one woman listed in serious condition.

Will Dawn ever do another lava tour?

"Absolutely not," she says.

And as for the piece of lava rock that she still had after the incident - she had no interest in keeping it as a souvenir and threw it back into the water.

"I thought for a moment, that that was it, this is how it's going to go, and it was a terrifying moment" Kaming Li said.