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Man Severely Burned in Hot Spring

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  Courtesy National Park Service.
June 14, 2017

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – A 21-year-old man, Gervais Dylan Gatete from Raleigh, North Carolina, sustained severe burns after falling into a hot spring late on Tuesday, June 13. The incident occurred in the Lower Geyser Basin off of Fountain Flat Drive just north of the Old Faithful area. Gatete, currently an employee with Xanterra Parks and Resorts, was with seven other people when he fell.

After the incident, the group attempted to evacuate Gatete by car. Just before midnight, they flagged down a ranger near Seven Mile Bridge on the West Entrance Road. Park staff provided immediate medical assistance and transported the patient via ambulance to the airport in West Yellowstone. From there, he was flown to a hospital.

Since rangers were not at the scene of the incident last night, it is not yet clear exactly where and how it occurred. Investigations continue today and additional information will be provided when it is available.

The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface.

This is the first serious injury in a thermal area this year. Last June, a man left the boardwalk and died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin. In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.

Search enters fifth day at Olympic

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hiking_iconSearch and rescue crews continue to look for signs is a 60-year-old hiker reported missing last week at Olympic National Park in Washington.

Here’s an update from the National Park Service’s Morning Report:

Major Search In Progress For Missing Day Hiker
Dec. 29, 2014

Sunday marked the fifth day of an ongoing interagency search for a 60-year-old Port Angeles man who failed to return from a day hike he took in the park last Monday.

Searchers from the park, Olympic Mountain Rescue, Tacoma Mountain Rescue, Clallam County SAR, Jefferson County SAR, and two dog teams from German Shepherd’s Search Dogs continued to search the Olympic Hot Springs area over the weekend.

Jim Griffin, who frequently hikes the two-and-a-half-mile trail to the hot springs, went for a day hike there on Monday, Dec. 22. On Wednesday, Dec. 24, around 10 p.m., friends reported Griffin overdue when he did not show up for Christmas Eve dinner.

Three NPS searchers began the search that evening and continued through the night. On Christmas Day, two two-person teams searched for Griffin. Several friends of Griffins, including the reporting party, assisted in the efforts on both Thursday and Friday.

On the afternoon of Christmas Day, Griffin’s day pack was located 50 feet off trail about a half mile from the trailhead. On Friday, eight search groups, including three dog teams, searched until dark. The park also attempted to use Griffin’s dog in the search, but the dog was not able to indicate where Griffin might be.

On Saturday, 21 searchers and two dogs resumed the effort to find him. The search teams completed a grid search within 500 feet of the location where Griffin’s day pack was found. They covered the entire search area in a grid pattern about ten feet apart, but no clues were found.

Park incident team members spoke to a couple on Saturday who had a conversation with Griffin at the hot springs. They believe he left the springs around 4 p.m. on Monday, which would mean he hiked back in the dark.
On Sunday, three teams were in the field and were joined by a group of Griffins’ friends. No sign of him was found. The search will be suspended today, but the investigation will continue.

Anyone who was at the Olympic Hot Springs, on the trail, or at the parking lot last Monday is asked to contact park dispatch at 360-565-3115. Even the smallest piece of information might help in the search.