incident at Neversink Pit

Publication
ACA 1973 page 12
Date
30th Jun 1973
Cave
Neversink Pit
State
Alabama
County
Unknown
Country
USA
Category
Caving
Incident type
Rockfall
Primary cause
Rope dislodged rock
Secondary cause
Group type
Cavers
Group size
Unknown
Aid type
None
Source
Unknown
Incident flags
       
Data status
Incomplete

Injured cavers

Name Age Sex Injuries Injured areas
Gelfius, Steve Not recorded Male Bruise Hand

Incident report

Alabama, Neversink Pit
Saturday, 30 June 1973

Over 45 people had gathered at the bottom of the 160-foot deep Neversink Pit for the wedding of M. O. Smith and S. A. Bolt. Bill Torode was rigging a seventh rope but had not informed the people below that he was lowering another rope. It piled up on a ledge just below the lip of the pit. With the addition of more rope to the pile, about 150 feet of rope fell to a ledge about 40 feet from the bottom. As the rope hit the ledge. it dislodged a rock approximately 4 to 5 inches in diameter. The falling rope struck Steve Gelfius (about 24) on his hard hat. Gelfius instinctively reached for his head only to have the rock strike his hand and hard hat. Gelfius's hand was soaked in the waterfall and then bandaged. He complained of a headache but was able to climb out of the pit without difficulty.

Analysis: Gelfius's helmet was smashed on the right side. He could have been killed had he not been wearing the helmet. A contributing factor in the accident was the poor communications caused by the large number of people in the pit. Nevertheless, Torode should have told the cavers at the bottom what he was doing so they could move out of the danger area.

Source: Report by Steve Hudson Indiana, Bronson Cave

Notes

Wedding party of 45 people at bottom of pit.

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