Christ this is grizzly – and that’s in no way meant to be a pun.
New details have emerged about the tragic death of a man who accidentally fell into a scalding hot spring in Yellowstone National Park in the USA earlier this year.
Colin Scott, 23, and his younger sister Sable were in the Norris Geyser basin when they left the safety of the boardwalk and walked about 200-metres up the hill, believed by park rangers to be attempting to ‘hot pot’, a.k.a. go soaking in the hot springs.
However, the area can be extremely dangerous, and visitors are cautioned to not leave the boardwalk. Unlike most other geysers in the basin, Norris’ waters are acidic. It’s also the hottest geyser, but really, the acidic thing should be enough.
At the time of Scott’s death, it was reported that the recovery effort was called off because no remains could be found.
The final report – released to local news station KULR-TV via a Freedom of Information request – has now revealed that his body could not be found because it had literally dissolved in acid.
Search and rescue rangers were originally able to locate Scott’s body (along with his wallet and thongs), but were hindered in their rescue efforts thanks to an incoming lightning storm.
When they arrived the next day, the body was nowhere to be found, although the water was described as churning and acidic.
“In a very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving,” said Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress.
The report also revealed that Sable was filming at the time of the accident. It quotes her as saying that her brother “was reaching down to check the temperature of a hot spring when he slipped and fell into the pool.”
Some parts of the report had been censored out of respect to the victim’s family, including both the video and a description of it.
At least 22 people are known to have died from hot spring-related injuries in and around Yellowstone National Park since 1890.
Veress says the park posts warning signs for important reasons.
“It is wild and it hasn’t been overly altered by people to make things a whole lot safer, it’s got dangers,” he said. “And a place like Yellowstone which is set aside because of the incredible geothermal resources that are here, all the more so.”
Photo: Getty / Wolfgang Kaehler.