incident at Dead Deer Cave

Publication
ACA 1973 page 5
Date
24th Feb 1973
Cave
Dead Deer Cave
State
Texas
County
Unknown
Country
USA
Category
Caving
Incident type
Caver fall
Primary cause
Hand over hand ascent
Secondary cause
Inexperience
Group type
Other
Group size
2
Aid type
Underground aid
Source
Third party
Incident flags
     
Data status
Complete

Injured cavers

No injured cavers recorded.

Incident report

Two ill-equipped local boys entered the vertical Dead Deer Cave. After going down a short pit. one of the boys reportedly fell 50 feet when he was unable to make a hand-over-hand climb out.

The uninjured boy was rescued by Bexar County Civil Defense volunteers, led by Dick White, and by cavers from the Alamo Area Chapter of the NSS, led by Safety and Rescue Chairman Chuck Stuehm. Experienced cavers rappelled in and rigged the victim for vertical rope climbing using a Jumar system. The victim was able to climb out under his own power when properly equipped.

The television news coverage of this accident was so complete that the camera crew was able to enter the cave and film the rescue. Unfortunately, the location of the cave was given to the viewing audience, and this led to another incident the very next weekend. This was the third rescue at this cave in as many years. (See also 31 December 1972 accident in the 1972 American Caving Accidents and 4 March 1973 in this issue of American Caving Accidents.)

Incident analysis

Analysis: This is another example of lack of knowledge of proper vertical techniques and a gross underestimation of the difficulty in climbing a rope hand-over-hand. Although the cave is on posted property, it has often been entered by local youths. They have stashed some gear, including a mildewed, 1-inch manilla rope, for spur of the moment caving trips.

References

Sources: Report by Glenn Darilek. Darilek. Glenn. (1973) "Dead Deer Ditto." The Texas Caver. Vol. 18, No. 4, p. 115.

This record was last updated on 20th Nov 2023 at 05:09 UTC.