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Man Dies After Falling in Yellowstone Hot Spring

Travis Smola

A man wandered off the boardwalk before falling into a hot spring.

This has not been a good year for Yellowstone so far. Authorities have confirmed a man died after falling into a hot spring yesterday.

Authorities confirmed late Wednesday that 23-year-old Colin Nathaniel Scott of Portland, Oregon did not survive after falling into a hot spring in the Norris Geyser Basin in the vicinity of the Porkchop Geyser. His sister Sable Scott was with him and was the one who reported the incident to park authorities.

“We extend our sympathy to the Scott family,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk in a press release. “This tragic event must remind all of us to follow the regulations and stay on boardwalks when visiting Yellowstone’s geyser basins.”


Witnesses told authorities the man was allegedly 225 yards off the boardwalk when the incident occurred. It’s the second reported incident involving someone falling into a hot spring in less than a week’s time. The Billings Gazette reports a 13-year-old boy suffered burns on Saturday after a fall into a pool in the Upper Geyser Basin.


The death is just the latest in a slew of tourist incidents to make headlines in the park this season. A woman was also killed in the park a little over two weeks ago after being struck by a car while trying to photograph an eagle.

Then there was the latest bison attack just the other day resulting in juries to an Australian man. Before that, a woman became internet famous after video of her being charged by an elk surfaced. The tourists who put a bison calf in their vehicle made world-wide headlines.

The Norris Geyser Basin is back open, but part will remain closed as authorities continue to investigate and attempt to retrieve the body. It’s likely they are using some caution due to the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the park’s thermal features. Yellowstone outlines the dangers of these features in many signs around the features and in the park’s safety guidelines on their website.

“Boardwalks and trails protect you and preserve delicate thermal formations. Scalding water underlies most of the thin, breakable crust in thermal areas. Pools may be near or above the boiling point of water and can cause severe or fatal burns,” a statement on their website states.

All images via Travis Smola



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Man Dies After Falling in Yellowstone Hot Spring