Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby Ronal Kerbo » Nov 26, 2009 9:40 am

An unfortunate conclusion to the incident; after all my years of dealing with the media at Carlsbad Cavern I should have known better than to post links to updates before all was completed.
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Re: Man trapped in Utah Cave UPDATE

Postby peter febb » Nov 26, 2009 10:17 am

Man stuck upside-down in Utah cave dies

SALT LAKE CITY—A man stuck upside-down in a cave for more than a day died early Thursday, despite the efforts of dozens of rescuers, authorities said.

John Jones, 26, of Stansbury Park died about 12:30 a.m., nearly 28 hours after he became stuck 700 feet into the cave known as Nutty Putty, Utah County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.

Rescuers were next to Jones for much of the day but he was wedged in a small hole too tightly to pull him out or even reach through to assist him, Cannon told The Associated Press.

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13872465
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Re: Man trapped in Utah Cave

Postby onebat » Nov 26, 2009 10:23 am

I'm so sorry to hear that!
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Re: Man trapped in Utah Cave

Postby John O. Ludwigson » Nov 26, 2009 10:55 am

Here's the link to the NPR story online: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... t=1&f=1001

Really, really sad.
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby Leitmotiv » Nov 26, 2009 1:18 pm

That is too bad... I feel for their families.
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Nov 26, 2009 1:30 pm

Hi everyone. Bonny and I spent all day yesterday at this rescue now turned recovery. As you can tell from the news, it was a frustrating, emotionally taxing ordeal for all involved.

I am not an official spokesperson for the rescue, nor a member of the command team, so my comments should be taken just as the impressions of one of the team members.

I was in the cave for about 12 hours yesterday as part of the effort. There were many ups and downs, a lot of heroic effort, and much determination. I would like to commend the sherriffs, fire teams, and county SAR for working so well with the cavers that were there. Cavers were recognized as vital, integral members of the team. Only small cavers could actually get near John. He got himself into a truly horrible situation, and not even everyone's best effort was enough to free him.

The press coverage has been very accurate, especially considering that they could not see really any of what was going on. I would like to clear up one thing however. Several news outlets have reported that John was "free" and then the rigging failed, sending him back to where he started. This is incorrect. When the redirect popped, John was still several hours from being "free". I estimate he was probably 2 hours of hauling and squeezing from where he would have been able to sit up. The haul systems ran through a twisting passage, requiring pulleyed redirects at each corner, four in all. As far as I can tell, the last one was set up on a natural anchor. It was very near the patient, one bend beyond where I could fit. I believe it was the anchor itself that blew, not the rope or cord as reported. The rescuer was actually hit in the face with two rescue pulleys and two carabiners.

While this setback was definitely the turning point of the rescue, John probably lost about two feet of progress as a result. Rescuers had already moved him a ways up the passage in the 15 or so hours before this. He was still a long way from being free, even without the blowout. Once the rigging was rebuilt with better anchors, by this time John was too exhausted to help us, rendering the setup useless. We were hauling him into a tight spot, with only his feet visible. He was head-down for 24 hours, with no way to turn him, and the clock beat us.

Sympathy and prayers go out to his family.
Andy Armstrong
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby Chads93GT » Nov 26, 2009 2:14 pm

What exactly was this passage? A tight crawl way that he got too far into, and it sloped downward, hence his feet above his head? I don't get it. Im guessing he died from hemmoraging? I know if you hang upside down too long, you will expire from the blood pressure in the head.
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby Scott McCrea » Nov 26, 2009 2:17 pm

Thank you, Andy and Bonny. :bow:
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby Caverdale » Nov 26, 2009 2:45 pm

The latest news update comes from Michael Leavitt, the volunteer administrator of Nutty Putty Cave. They have decided not to remove the body today, but to delay until tomorrow. Other news sources say that deputies have been posted around the hill and no one will be allowed to pass. Leavitt has also announced that the cave is officially closed. One report quotes the Utah County Sheriff as saying that the cave will be or should be permanently closed, a stance that he took several years ago. His problem is mainly with the cost of rescue. While there were many volunteers, most of the 100+ people at the site were paid employees. In addition, there were probably a couple dozen vehicles from various organizations involved including the huge rescue trucks from the fire departments and at least one helicopter.
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby pub » Nov 26, 2009 3:51 pm

Ronal Kerbo wrote:... I should have known better than to post links to updates before all was completed.
The updates are good to keep abreast of the situation, I think we all have learned to take the media releases with a couple grains of salt. I guess some of the sarcastic/facetious/unsympathetic commenters of the news articles had a taste of irony shoved down their throats with this outcome.

Chad, here are some maps and a GREAT PRESENTATION:

Dale Green (1965)

Brandon Kowallis (2003)

SAVING THE NUTTY PUTTY CAVE

Thanks to Andy for the first-hand report and Dale for the OP & additional info!
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby Caverdale » Nov 26, 2009 4:28 pm

Here is a more recent post from the Salt Lake Tribune that gives some details of the rescue that haven't been reported before:
http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13873501
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby Chads93GT » Nov 26, 2009 4:51 pm

Im guessing it was the zig zagged portion of the map and not that overlying passage above it. Hell of a way to go, condolences to the family and freinds.
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby pub » Nov 26, 2009 4:53 pm

Thanks Dale, key statements in that article, Tragedy in Utah County cave: Details emerge, are:
Maria Villasenor wrote:...It was not an equipment failure, he explained Thursday morning, but a failure of the rock where the apparatus was anchored. Cannon said the rope system the rescuers used was highly reliable and included redundant parts for extra safety...
Last edited by pub on Nov 27, 2009 4:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby pub » Nov 26, 2009 5:07 pm

Chad, according to ksl.com:
...The crevice was about 150 feet below ground in an L-shaped area of the cave known as "Bob's Push," which is only about 18 inches wide and 10 inches high, said Utah County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon...
Last edited by pub on Nov 27, 2009 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
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Re: Another rescue in progress at Utah's Nutty Putty Cave

Postby ron_miller » Nov 26, 2009 7:40 pm

While this rescue effort was ultimately not successful, it appears that no effort was spared to save John Jones' life. I suspect that, as additional details come out over the next several days and weeks, this rescue effort may yield important lessons that could help save another caver's life in the future.

Thanks are due especially to Andy, Bonny and all the other cavers and rescue volunteers who took time out of their lives to respond to a fellow caver in need of help. And thanks, Andy, for taking time to post your perspective on the rescue effort here on CaveChat.

Our thoughts and prayers are with John Jones' family, and with all the rescuers as well.

Ron Miller

:thanks:
:bat2:
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