incident at Rouse Cave (John T. Bible Cave)

Publication
ACA 1973 page 11
Date
26th May 1973
Cave
Rouse Cave (John T. Bible Cave)
State
Tennessee
County
Unknown
Country
USA
Category
Caving
Incident type
Drowning
Primary cause
Fall
Secondary cause
Flooding
Group type
Cavers
Group size
2
Aid type
Underground aid
Source
Unknown
Incident flags
     
Data status
Incomplete

Injured cavers

Name Age Sex Injuries Injured areas
Lutz, Victor (Lynn) 19 Male Fatality Not recorded
Gaithright, Roger 21 Male Not recorded Not recorded

Incident report

Roger Gaithright (21) and Victor (Lynn) Lutz (19), an experienced vertical caver, entered the wet, sinuous Rouse Cave early Saturday afternoon. They went downstream to the Green Lake, crossed it, and found the passage beyond nearly siphoned. As they were returning, the two men noticed the water was suddenly rising about a foot per minute. While scrambling for higher ground, Lutz fell from the mud bank and drowned. Gaithright lost his light but was able to climb a ledge above the water. He was found the next day by cavers who had noticed that he was missing.

Analysis: "The mistake the boys made was entering a wet cave in a rainy period. The cave drains a very large area and has no human exit. Weather had been intermittently clear and stormy, sometimes changing several times a day." (Dunaway)

References

Report by S.M. Dunaway, Jr. Newspaper clipping.

Notes

Slipped off a bank and drowning in high water.

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