At about noon on Wednesday March 6, during Spring Break from Penn State University a group of cavers made a trip into the Marlboro County area of Butler Cave, in Virginia. As the Group headed out they made a stop in Evasor Gallery, Josh Rubenstein (early 20's), who was unfamiliar with the cave, didn't need to stop and so went on ahead. He had been told to turn left when he reached the junction of Evasor Gallery and the main trunk passage. Rubenstein, however, turned right (not realizing where he was) and proceeded far enough that the others, making the correct turn, passed by. They went another mile before they realized he was not ahead. They went back but by that time were too tired to retrace their path all the way to the Evasor Gallery and so failed to find Rubenstein. They proceeded out and at 1 1 a.m. Thursday informed Nevin Davis. Davis contacted another caver and planned a recon to the Gallery-if they didn't return by 6 p.m., afull scalesearch wasto begin.
Meanwhile Rubenstein had wandered into the western part of the cave, realized his mistake and tried to retrace his steps. In the process he encountered a cached first aid kit containing heat packs and a space blanket. Using these, he sat down to await rescue. The two rescuers found him thus, at the entrance to Evasor Gallery. They proceeded out, meeting other rescuers at the entrance. The call-out was cancelled.
Mike Dyas Personal Communication Mar 10, 1983.
Nevin Davis Personal Communication Jan 23, 1984.
A lot of hassle can often be avoided by keeping a party together.