Cave Rescue, May 25, 1969
Big Ridge Cave, PA


On 25 May, Tom O'Holleran (18), Orville Ormsby (24), and Del Myers (20) descended into Big Ridge Cave by rappel and proceeded toward the squeeze in the stream passage. Enroute, one must descend a sloping fissure.

While climbing down the fissure, O'Holleran slipped and slid 8 feet to the bottom, landing on his feet. In the process he struck his knee painfully against the wall. The party then left the cave. It was subsequently discovered that O'Holleran's knee was not just bruised, but deeply cut. Eight stiches were required to close the wound, and an artery had been nearly cut.


NSS Cave Accident Reports, 1969, Page 4.

Del Myers, Nittany Grotto News, Jan-Feb 1970.


O'Holleran, who had only started caving a few months previously, was apparently unaccustomed to scrambling on muddy and insecure slopes. Only more care in moving could have prevented the accident. He was fortunate in an artery not being severed, as a more elaborate rescue probably then would have been necessary.