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Fatal Caving Accidents

Although caving accidents are rare, they do happen, often with fatal results.  The following list of fatal caving accidents is far from a "complete" list of all caving related deaths. While most deaths are the result of falls or by drowning, sometimes just standing in the wrong place at the wrong time can be deadly.

Caving can be dangerous and only you know your limits and abilities. Only you are responsible for your actions.

  1. Valhalla Cave, Alabama - June 10 1984, Samuel Crawford, 21, and Michael Hanebaum, 20, were crushed by a 30'30' slab of rock that flaked off while they were waiting to ascend out.
  2. Stevens Gap Pit, Alabama - August 30, 1997, Karen Prowett, 46, switched over to and rappelled off of the end of a short safety rope.
  3. Fern Cave, Alabama - November 2, 1997, Alexia Hampton, 35, uncontrolled rappel and free fell the last 50 to 100 feet of the 400 foot deep Surprise Pit. Sevier injuries caused her death about 12 hours later as she was almost removed from the cave.
  4. Ellsions Cave, Georgia - March 10 1999, died from hypothermia while stranded on rope.
  5. Hermit Cave, Oklahoma - April 6th 1999, died from suffocation and exhaustion while stuck.
  6. Birds Drop, Virginia - March 16th 2000, fall.
  7. O-9 Well, Texas - September 30th 2000, Joe Ivy, took a fall while working on an ongoing aid climbing project to a ceiling infeeder.
  8. Redman Cave, Arizona - February 27th 2001, drown
  9. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - July 4th 2001, rock fall entrapment
  10. Lori Cori Canyon Cave, Virginia - September 27th 2003, Dick Graham an experienced caver fell approximately 170' while rappelling.
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Copperhead Cave Accident
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