incident at Shaft Cave

Publication
ACA 1973 page 9
Date
12th Apr 1973
Cave
Shaft Cave
State
Indiana
County
Unknown
Country
USA
Category
Caving
Incident type
Stranded
Primary cause
Lost
Secondary cause
Insufficient equipment
Group type
Other
Group size
Unknown
Aid type
Underground aid
Source
Unknown
Incident flags
       
Data status
Incomplete

Injured cavers

No injured cavers recorded.

Incident report

Thursday, 12 April 1973 Two non-caver students from Indiana University decided to explore Shaft Cave using flashlights and a knotted rope. They successfully descended the entrance and second drops using the knotted rope. The students went through the water crawl and into the larger passage beyond but got lost when they tried to return. Passing motorcyclists noticed their parked car on two successive days and summoned the police who in turn contacted Bloomington area cavers. The Bloomington cavers found the students who incredibly did not appear too concerned about their plight.

Analysis: Inexperience was the primary cause of this accident; the victims did not tell anyone of their whereabouts and they did not have spare sources of light. It is fortunate that they did not suffer a serious accident because descending or climbing a rope hand-over-hand is one of the most dangerous mistakes made by inexperienced cavers.

References

Shofstall, Don. (1973) "Accidents do Happen." Petroglyph. Vol. 10, No. 1. pp. 6-7

Notes

Petroglyph Vol10 No1 p6.

This record was last updated on 18th Nov 2023 at 00:30 UTC.