State News

Raleigh man fell into Yellowstone hot spring, burned

Posted June 14
Updated June 15

— A 21-year-old North Carolina man has suffered severe burns after falling into a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.

Park officials say Gervais Dylan Gatete of Raleigh, an employee of park concessionaire Xanterra Parks and Resorts, fell into a spring in the Lower Geyser Basin on Tuesday. The area is just north of the park's famous Old Faithful area.

Gatete was with seven other people when he fell. The group tried to evacuate Gatete by car, but they flagged down a ranger just before midnight, and the park staff provided medical assistance.

Gatete was taken by ambulance to West Yellowstone, Montana, and was flown to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Hospital spokeswoman Suzanne Winchester said he was in critical but stable condition.

Park spokeswoman Morgan Warthin said the incident is still under investigation.

“Yellowstone’s thermal features are dangerous,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We continually stress that people must stay on trails and boardwalks in geyser basins, not only to protect resources, but for their own safety.”

In a news release about the incident, the National Parks Service said the ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface.

It's the first serious injury in a thermal area in Yellowstone this year. Last June, a man died after falling into a hot spring in the Norris Geyser Basin.

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  • Scott Phelps Jun 15, 6:24 a.m.
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    Heed the warnings. The man who died basically dissolved, and dissolved rapidly...yikes

  • Janet Ghumri Jun 15, 6:00 a.m.
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    Praying for his recovery!