Man recovering in South Florida after falling down volcano during honeymoon

Indiana couple were hiking up Mount Liamuiga, a dormant volcano on St. Kitts

By Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Days after saying "I do," a couple from Indiana are happy to be recovering in Fort Lauderdale after the newly married husband fell down a volcano during their honeymoon.

On July 18, Acaimie and Clay Chastain were hiking up Mount Liamuiga, a dormant volcano on St. Kitts.

"Clay and I like to hike. And there's a volcano -- a dormant volcano," Acaimie Chastain said.

Photo courtesy: Acaimie Chastain

Photo courtesy of Acaimie Chastain.

Acaimie Chastain said her husband wanted to climb down into the volcano for a better look at the lush foliage inside. Fearing the tough climb back, she stayed behind.

But Acaimie Chastain heard a noise, and after a few minutes, began to worry about her husband.

After shouting into the depths of the crater, Acaimie Chastain said she finally heard Clay's yells for help.

Taking a deep breath and gathering her inner strength, Acaimie Chastain climbed down into the volcano to find Clay.

"I left the backpack there and I started climbing as rapidly as I could into the crater, and I started yelling for him," she recalled. "As I started getting a little bit further down, I did, in fact, start hearing him cry for help. And I just screamed, 'I'm coming!'"

Acaimie Chastain said she spotted her husband's bandana and phone case before finally finding him. She estimates he plummeted about 50 feet.

Clay Chastain was conscious and bleeding, disoriented and unaware that he had fallen, Acaimie Chastain said. She guided him up the steep walks of the volcano, occasionally pushing his backside from behind for a boost.

About 45 minutes into the trek, she said cell service returned so she could call 911.

Photo courtesy: Acaimie Chastain

Photo courtesy of Acaimie Chastain.

Clay Chastain was taken to a local hospital before being medically airlifted to Broward Health in Fort Lauderdale. He suffered from a cracked skull and jaw, and lost hearing in one ear.

Acaimie Chastain said she is confident he will recover.

Some family members from Indiana have arrived in South Florida for support.

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