21-year-old man severely burned in Yellowstone hot spring near Old Faithful

Lower Geyser Basin at Yellowstone. Photo: Flickr/NPS photo by Neal Herbert

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, June 14, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A 21-year-old North Carolina man suffered severe burns late Tuesday after he fell into a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.

The National Park Service said that Gervais Dylan Gatete of Raleigh, North Carolina, fell at the Lower Geyser Basin, just north of Old Faithful.

Gatete was with seven other people when he fell. The group flagged down a ranger near Seven Mile Bridge on the West Entrance Road just before midnight.

Park staff gave Gatete initial treatment, then got him to an ambulance that took him to the airport in West Yellowstone for a flight to a hospital.
Gatete works for Colorado-based Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a hospitality company that lists Yellowstone as an affiliated property.

The Park Service indicated an investigation is ongoing into exactly where and how the incident happened.

Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk said the park’s thermal features are dangerous. Scalding water is just below the surface, and the ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin.

“We continually stress that people must stay on trails and boardwalks in geyser basins, not only to protect resources, but for their own safety,” he said in a written statement.

The statement said this is the first serious injury in a thermal area this year. Last June, a man died after he left the boardwalk and slipped into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin. In 2000, one person died after falling into Lower Geyser Basin, and two others were severely burned.

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