Gruesome hot spring death highlights problems at Yellowstone

Colin Nathaniel Scott, 23, had strayed off the path in Yellowstone National Park in on Tuesday when he slipped and fell into the hot spring in the Norris Geyser Basin, park officials said.

Rangers suspended their attempts on Wednesday to recover the body of a man who wandered from a designated boardwalk and fell into an acidic hot spring at Yellowstone National Park, another in a string of incidents raising concerns over visitor behavior. The men, who work for a company that films adventure videos, later apologized on Facebook and said that they would donate $US5000 to the park.

Reid says Scott's sister was with him at the time of the accident, looking at thermal features in the Norris Geyser Basin.

Yellowstone's awe-inspiring hot springs have claimed 22 lives since 1890, park officials told the AP, but Scott's was the first thermal-related death in 16 years. They halted the effort "due to the extreme nature and futility of it all", park spokeswoman Charissa Reid said.

Only some of Scott's personal possessions were recovered at the popular attraction, where water temperatures can reach 199 degrees.

Visitors can walk more than three kilometers of trails and boardwalks that snake through the basin, bringing them close to geysers, steam vents and acidic water.

The last recorded thermal-related death was in 2000, when 20-year-old Sarah Hulphers accidentally plunged into a hot spring with two friends as they walked through the park at night.

Mr. Scott himself was described as "a very nice young man, a bright spirit" by a former manager.



  • Neal Todd