The man who died after falling into a hot spring in Norris earlier this year may have been looking to go soaking in the basin.
In June, we reported that someone had fallen into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin after venturing hundreds of yards off the boardwalk. His death was confirmed later that day. Officials identified him as 23-year-old Colin Nathaniel Scott of Portland, Oregon, a recent college grad visiting the Park with his sister.
In a follow-up story, we reported there were no remains left to recover, due to the acidity of the spring.
According to KULR8, Yellowstone officials, responding to a Freedom of Information Act request, released their final report on the incident, which outlines Scott’s decision to venture off trail:
The accident happened in Norris Geyser basin on the afternoon of June 7. Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress says it is a very dangerous area with boiling acidic waters.
Veress explained, “There’s a closure in place to keep people from doing that for their own safety and also to protect the resources because they are very fragile. But, most importantly for the safety of people because it’s a very unforgiving environment.”
But, according to the official incident report released by the National Park Service, 23-year old Colin Nathaniel Scott of Portland, Oregon, and his sister Sable Scott left the boardwalk near Pork Chop Geyser, then walked several hundred feet up a hill.
Veress said, “… they were specifically moving in that area for a place that they could potentially get into and soak. I think they call it Hot Potting.”
The report says Sable used her phone to record the journey to the hot spring. The report quotes her as saying she was shooting a video of her brother when the deadly accident happened, However, park officials would not release the video, or even a description of it.
Other areas of the report are redacted under the Privacy act. Veress said it was done out of sensitivity to the family.
The report did quote Sable as saying, “her brother was reaching down to check the temperature of a hot spring when he slipped and fell into the pool.”
According to officials, search and rescue rangers did find Scott’s body in the pool, but a lightning storm halted recovery efforts. As previously reported, by the time rangers could safely return to the pool, there were no remains left. Veress described the pool as “churning, and acidic.”