On Sunday afternoon, June 17, Steve Goodson (20) and Robin Wyrick (19) entered Moler's Cave near Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. They explored for some time, then had trouble with their carbide lamp, which they were unable to re-light, presumably because of a wet flint. The matches they were carrying also became wet and refused to light. Their back-up flashlight died leaving them in the dark. They tried to persist, by following a stream, but the passage became too narrow. They climbed up onto a ledge, and yelled for an hour os so. They huddled together for warmth.
On Tuesday, Wyrick's mother alerted the State Police. The caver's vehicle was found outside Moler's Cave. They were found about 1 a.m. Wednesday, having been in the cave about 2 1/2 days.
NSS News, November 1985 (Part 2) V43N11, Page 360.
Ed. "Lost Cavers Huddled to Keep Warm - and Prayed" The Inner-Mountain (Elkins, WV) June 21, 1984.
Terry Headlee "Lost Cavers Learned About 'Survival and Courage'" Martinsburg Journal (WV) June 21, 1984.
Richard Belisle "Footprints in Mud Lead to Cave Rescue" The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, MD) Thursday, June 21, 1984 pp 1, A7.
The problem was a lack of light sources. These cavers had only a single carbide lamp and flashlight -- not enough for even one caver. They had no food or extra clothing.