On Sunday, March 6, three cavers, Bob Addis, Randy Ferrell and Steve Mosberg were exiting Scott Hollow in West Virginia. They had spent some 15 hours exploring and surveying. The entrance pitch is a 10 to 12 foot chimney leading to the bottom of a ladder leading to the surface. The third, Stephen Mosberg (34) reached the top of the chimney but as he reached for the bottom rung of the ladder his foot slipped from the opposite wall and he fell to the bottom of the crevice.
Mosberg suffered a fractured left ankle. He soon determined that it would not support his weight. He also had minor abrasions on his forearms. He called for help but his companions were not within hearing. After three or four mintues, Ferrell returned and soon a rope was rigged to assist Mosberg up the drop.
NSS News, December 1989 (Part 2) V47N12, Page 319-320.
Randy Ferrell "Trip Report: Scott Hollow 3/5/88" Parkersburg Subterranea Flyer Vol. 4, No. 4, p 9-11.
Stephen Mosberg "NSS Accident Report" 2 pp, undated.
Mosberg attributes the accident to carelessness on an easy climb due to fatigue and being overanxious to reach the surface. It is easy to understand why his companions were not immediately available for help, but such separation of a party is not to be commended. If Mosberg's injuries had been worse, quick aid might have been crucial.