Student Dies in Caving Accident

A UVA student died in a spelunking accident in Utah this morning. He was trapped 150 feet underground for 28 hours. (Via)  #

4 Responses to “Student Dies in Caving Accident”


  • That’s pretty tragic. I wonder if any of the local cave club knew him? Overall, caving is a pretty safe sport when practiced with the right equipment and people that know what they are doing. (Cave diving is another story entirely…) I think that overall this was probably just an unfortunate accident, although it does appear he may have attempted a spot that was just too tight for him.

    In following the news thread it appears that they were unable to recover the body and have made the decision to permanently seal the cave.

  • I have been through some tight spots while spelunking. I have been through some L-curves. Only once have I encountered a tight L-curve, and I decided that wasn’t for me—I’d gone far enough. This just reinforces that I made the right decision.

  • Several articles state something like this:

    Cannon said a medical examiner would determine the exact cause of death later.

    Without the body will they be able to provide that information?

  • From what I read, the cause of death seems pretty clear. The sad thing is that they almost rescued him. A pully dislodged when they were getting him out and then he slid back in deeper than before.

    Waldo, yeah, I think this is definitely a tragic lesson aboing one knowing one’s limits… Another commenter on the article mentioned that he was about 130 pounds and almost got stuck in the same spot. Some challenges really just aren’t worth it. Pretty terrible way to learn that lesson though.

    With the combination of white-nose disease, this sort of media attention is not really good for the sport. I’m glad though that, for the most part, the media has emphasised that the cave club had taken significant safety precautions. Nonetheless, I’m sure cavers are having many conversations as to how this mistake was made and how to prevent it in the future.

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