Cave Rescue, March 24, 1983
Blessington Mountain Wells, PA


REPORT

At about 4:30 p.m. on March 24, Randall Seese (18), John Seese (20) and Mark Shaffer (18) entered one cave of the Blessington Mountain Wells in Gamble Township near Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They explored for some time, then became stranded when their three flashlights grew dim. In the process two of them took falls and one was hit on the arm by a falling rock.

When the group did not return to their homes that night, it was guessed that they had gone to the caves. At 2:30 a.m. Russell Seese drove to the caves and went in but could not contact the lost cavers. The Eldred Township Fire Department and State Police were called and found the trio to be in the second cave they approached. They had the aid of a local, Lloyd Bower, who entered the cave and made voice contact. Although temperatures were in the teens outside, it was between 50 and 60 degrees in the cave and the cavers had suffered no more than scrapes and bruises.


References

Ed. "Three Rescued From Cave" Williamsport (PA) Sun-Gazette Friday, Mar 25, 1983 pp 1, 8.

Dave Seasholtz Personal Communication undated.

David Dubs Personal Communication June 29, 1983.


Analysis

Dubs makes the interesting point that this incident is at least partly due to the lack of NSS influence on people who want to see what caving is all about and set out with what seems to them like reasonable equipment. This caving area is not close to any grotto and the NSS tends to keep a low profile anyway. He advocates a sign campaign, putting signs at entrances telling what equipment a reasonable caver would take. He also points out that the local rescue squads and local State Police were totally unaware of NCRC, and would not enter the caves.