Police: Students Killed When Trapped By Cave
Waterfall, February 12, 2011.
Posted: 4:43 pm EST February 13, 2011Updated: 8:25 am EST February 14, 2011
LaFAYETTE, Ga. — Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson says rescue workers believe that two University of Florida students who died in a north Georgia cave were trapped by their rappelling ropes in a frigid waterfall.
Wilson said the two, 20-year-old Grant Lockenbach and 18-year-old Michael Pirie, apparently died of hypothermia in Ellison’s Cave.
David Ashburn, director of Walker County Emergency
Management, says Lockenbach, Pirie and eight other students from Gainesville, Fla., entered the cave Saturday morning to explore it.
Witnesses told officials that someone dropped a bag down a pit. They say Lockenbach rappelled down to retrieve the bag but got tangled in his ropes about 100 feet down and cold water poured over him.
They say Pirie went down to help but also got stuck. The bodies were recovered hours later.
(WSBTV news report)
Our prayers go out to the families of Grant Lockenbach and Michael Pirie.
Up on the side of Pigeon Mountain there’s a hole,
from the Blue Hole it’s a leisurely uphill stroll.
Only the brave dare enter Ellison’s Cave,
where some have tried and went to their grave.
Repel Incredible Pit, four–hundred–and–forty feet,
two miles of cave dragging a rope in order to complete,
a crossover pull down for long dangerous trip,
a place where you do not want to fall or slip.
Five–hundred–and–eighty–six feet for Fantastic Pit,
a long climb out on a single rope, you had better be fit.
Two holes that descend deep and cold,
a challenge for only the strong and bold.
This cave that spans a mountain top,
where one slip can result in a long drop.
My hat goes off to the man who explored and mapped
twelve miles of cave where some have been trapped.
From the book “From the Heart“
Photo by : Josh Schultz[i]
[i] Hubert, you have my permission to use the photograph. Just throw my name in the credits so I can brag about it to others . Let me know when your poetry collection nears completion. Josh Schultz.