College Spelunking Trip Ends in 60-Hour Mishap

Not a 'no man left behind' situation
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2017 12:46 PM CDT
A stock photo of a cave.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – An Indiana University freshman is counting his lucky stars that what the Herald-Times reports was his third-ever cave descent wasn't his last. Indiana University freshman Lukas Cavar, 19, was on a beginner's spelunking trip to Sullivan Cave on Sunday when he ended up getting left behind by the 12 other members of IU's Caving Club. He got separated from the group and reached the cave entrance, only to find that it had been padlocked shut by the departed spelunkers—and he ended up stuck in that cave for 60 hours. Exactly how that happened is somewhat of a mystery, reports the Indiana Daily Student: The Caving Club says it did a headcount at the beginning and end of the outing, and the cavers were buddied up. It wouldn't further elaborate on the "sensitive legal matter."

What Cavar had on him: a plastic grocery store bag, his relatively useless iPhone (no signal), two empty water bottles, two Clif Bar wrappers, his wallet, and helmet. He estimates he spent six to eight hours yelling for help, and licked moisture from the cave's walls to try to satisfy his thirst. Two club members rescued him late Tuesday after a friend told the club's president Cavar was missing. Cavar says he's "really glad to be alive;" the AP reports he has no upcoming spelunking plans. (This lost trekker survived on a ledge for 47 days.)

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