Late on Sunday, September 29, Cade Edmond Siemers, a 48-year-old U.S. citizen currently living in India, suffered severe burns to a significant portion of his body after falling into thermal water near the cone of Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, WY.
Rangers and paramedics responded to the Old Faithful Inn at midnight where Siemers was staying. He told rangers that he had gone for a walk off the boardwalk without a flashlight and tripped into a hot spring. He got himself back to his hotel room and called for assistance. Rangers detected evidence of alcohol use.
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Siemers was taken by ambulance to West Yellowstone Airport and then flown by fixed-wing plane to Idaho Falls. Bad weather conditions prohibited the use of a life flight helicopter at Old Faithful. He was admitted to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Since rangers were not at the scene of the incident last night, they went out at first light this morning to investigate in the thermal area. They discovered several items near the geyser (the man’s shoe, hat, and a beer can), footprints going to and from the geyser, and blood on the boardwalk.
Investigations continue today, including assessing any damage to the geyser cone. The results of the investigation will be forwarded to the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecutorial review.
The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Visitors must always remain on boardwalks and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. Learn more about safety in thermal areas at go.nps.gov/yellsafety.
This is the first serious injury in a thermal area in two years. In June 2017, a man sustained severe burns after falling in a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin. In June 2016, a man left the boardwalk and died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin. In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.