The search has been called off for the body of a 23-year-old Oregon man who wandered some 225 yards off the boardwalk in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and was spotted falling into the Norris Geyser Basin on Tuesday. The AP reports Colin Nathaniel Scott's sister saw him slip into the acidic hot spring and alerted rangers, who on Wednesday ended their efforts "due to the extreme nature and futility of it all," says a rep for the park. "They were able to recover a few personal effects," park spokeswoman Charissa Reid said. "There were no remains left to recover." The New York Times quotes Reid as saying there have been 22 recorded deaths involving Yellowstone's hot springs since 1890, with the last occurring in 2000, when a 20-year-old Washington woman suffered third-degree burns after falling in.
A press release issued by the park notes Scott's death is the "second known thermal-related incident" to take place this season: Over the weekend, a 13-year-old boy slipped out of his father's arms and fell into a hot pool at the Upper Geyser Basin and had to be flown to a nearby hospital to be treated for burns, reports the Billings Gazette; his father also suffered burns in rescuing the boy. KPAX reports the park's website describes the Norris Geyser Basin as the "hottest, oldest, and most dynamic of Yellowstone's thermal areas," one that can cause third-degree burns in seconds. A temperature reading taken 1,087 feet below the surface recorded a temp of 459 degrees Fahrenheit. "This tragic event must remind all of us to follow the regulations and stay on boardwalks," Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk tells East Idaho News. (Read more Yellowstone National Park stories.)