American Caving Accidents
The Journal of Record for Caving Accidents and Safety Incidents in North America
A special publication of The National Speleological
Copyright © 2016 National Speleological Society Inc.
Last Update: May 21, 2016
Accident and Incident Reports on File
Cave Safely and Responsibly
Read the NSS Guide to Responsible Caving
American Caving Accidents Review Committee
Bonny Armstrong - Editor
Andy Armstrong - Richard Breisch - Scott Christenson - George Dasher - Yvonne Droms
Mark Minton - Stephen Mosberg - Rene Ohms - Sarah Richards - Forrest Wilson
Brian Dickey - Webmaster
Correspondence, accident reports, and inquiries related to ACA may be directed to Bonny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About American Caving Accidents
American Caving Accidents is the journal of record for accident and safety incident reports from the North American caving community, published by the National Speleological Society. Besides providing an archival record of caving accidents and safety incidents, the ACA serves as an educational resource for cavers and cave rescuers. Each issue of the ACA includes incident summaries based on collected information, along with comments, analyses, editorials and feature articles on caving safety and accident prevention. Readers of the ACA benefit from shared experiences of others, and have the opportunity to learn from those experiences and become safer cavers.
The ACA is distributed automatically to all current members of the National Speleological Society. Back issues are available on-line to NSS members. Non-members may order copies from the NSS Bookstore while supplies last.
We also include technical articles and other material related to caving safety. If you have any photographs or diagrams from rescues that might be of interest, please contact the editor.
The 1994 through 2010 accident and incident report indexes are provided above. Full text reports and back issues are not yet available online. Back issues of ACA may be purchased from the NSS Bookstore for a nominal fee.
If you are aware of any accidents or safety incidents in North America that are not shown on the incident lists above, please submit a report or notify the editor. Unpublished incidents from prior years may also be reported for publication. American Caving Accidents is published as a special issue of the NSS News, and current NSS members automatically receive a copy of each ACA as a part of their membership in the Society.
How to Submit an Incident Report
An online accident and incident report form is available for use.
Comments and suggestions for improvement of the publication or the web site are welcome.
Send hardcopy accident and incident reports, news clippings, etc. to American Caving Accidents by US mail at:
American Caving Accidents
In all incident reports, please be sure to indicate the name of the cave, the state where the cave is located, and the date of the incident. It is also helpful if you will provide contact information (your own, or that of persons having knowledge of the incident) so that we can follow up on missing details. When sending newspaper clippings, be sure to indicate the newspaper name, city and state, and the date of publication. A summary report in the style of American Caving Accidents is ideal.
Submitted reports become the property of the National Speleological Society, and may be published in full or in summary form in American Caving Accidents. Credit will be give to the author when submitted material is included in ACA.
Elders of the Tribe
American Caving Accidents is a teaching tool. It's a communication channel. It is a way for us to pass on to new cavers the collective experience and wisdom of the community. Those of us who have been around long enough to learn a few things, and who are still caving, owe it to the community and to the newcomers to serve as mentors for the next generation of cavers. That helps protect both the caves and the cavers from damage. In this editorial, published in American Caving Accidents in 1997, former editor Bill Putnam suggests that this is, in fact, part of our duty to our fellow cavers. Read more.
American Caving Accidents - Back Issues
PDFs of ALL back issues of American Caving Accicents are now available to members in the Publications Archives (login with NSS# and Zip Code required).
Copies of prior year issues are also available in limited quantity through the NSS Bookstore.
Other resources that may be of interest