On Saturday, August 26, a group of Boy Scouts was being led through Sharer's Cave, near Centre Hall in Pennsylvania. Cavers Gary Danmire and Craig Arbie were leading three scout troop leaders and seventeen boy scouts.
The group was proceeding down a passage of stooping height when suddenly Brian McMahon (11), the seventh scout (and 12th overall) in line, fell through a hole in the floor, 23 feet to the floor of a room below, breaking his pelvis.
Help was called, including the Nittany Grotto. Initial rescuers lowered an EMT through the hole and he attended the victim who was placed in a harness, raised back to the passage above, and strapped into a soft-sided litter with a built-in backboard. Rescue squad members and cavers then transported the injured boy to the entrance room. The litter was then lifted up the large breakdown blocks at the bottom of the room and to the entrance. An ambulance was waiting.
NSS News, December 1990 (Part 2) V48N12, Page 344.
Keith Wheeland "Rescue in Sharer's Cave" Nittany Grotto News 36(5) Fall, 1989, p 16-17.
The leaders warn of the hole and word is passed back but at some point, say twelfth, someone is talking to friends, not playing attention -- surprise!