incident at Brook's Cave

Publication
ACA 1973 page 19
Date
16th Dec 1973
Cave
Brook's Cave
State
South Dakota
County
Unknown
Country
USA
Category
Caving
Incident type
Lost
Primary cause
Inexperience
Secondary cause
Insufficient light
Group type
Other
Group size
Unknown
Aid type
Underground aid
Source
Unknown
Incident flags
   
Data status
Incomplete

Injured cavers

Name Age Sex Injuries Injured areas
Fenner, Ross 17 Male Not recorded Not recorded
Collins, Randy 15 Male Not recorded Not recorded

Incident report

South Dakota, Brook's Cave

Sunday, 16 December 1973

Brook's Cave is a three-dimensional maze typical of the caves of the Black Hills. Ross Fenner (17) and Randy Collins (15), each carrying one flashlight, entered the cave early Sunday afternoon and attempted to find the Compass Room. Collins had never been caving previously: Fenner had made five or six trips to Brook's Cave. Another boy did not go with them because he did not have a flashlight. The boys did not return by evening. so their relatives started searching for them at 8:00 p.m. Later local rescue groups were called in, but little was done until members of the Paha Sapa Grotto were contacted at 1:50 a.m. Monday. Three members of the grotto were at the cave within 45 minutes, and they located the missing boys within another 20 minutes. The boys were not injured, but had merely been lost. Using a cable ladder rigged by the rescuers, the two boys were led to safety by 3:15 a.m.

Analysis: "The youths underestimated the complexity of the cave. They failed to observe landmarks and could not find their way out." (Stock)
"What caused their difficulty was the entrance into the Compass Room. It is a long slide that enters the passage near the ceiling. From the floor this passage is hidden from view by a projection of rock. Since several much larger, inviting holes lead downward. confusion can reign. Usually a larger party travels slower and pauses long enough to look backwards. Closer attention to surroundings would have prevented the search." (Zerr)

Sources: Report by Mark Stock. Report by Bruce Zerr. Anon. (1973) "Cave Exploring Youths Rescued." Rapid City Daily Journal. 17 December 1973. Anon. (1973) "Cave Rescue 'Some Kind of Record'." Rapid City Daily Journal 19 December 1973.

References

(1973) "Cave Exploring Youths Rescued." Rapid City Daily Journal. 17 December 1973. Anon. (1973) "Cave Rescue 'Some Kind of Record'." Rapid City Daily Journal 19 December 1973.

Notes

Report by Mark Stock. Rapid City Daily Journal 12/17/73, 12/19/73.

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