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NUTTY PUTTY CAVE
YOUTH RESCUED FROM CAVE AFTER GETTING STUCK UPSIDE DOWN WHILE SPELUNKING

Youth rescued from cave after getting stuck upside down while spelunking

Daily HeraldSaturday, 21 August 2004 - The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- A 16-year-old Orem boy who got stuck upside down in a cave while spelunking with friends was in a hospital Saturday after an all-night rescue operation left him too weak to stand on his own.

About 20 Utah County search and rescue volunteers helped free Brock Clark from the Nutty Putty Cave area, where he got stuck about 4 p.m. Friday shortly after entering the long, narrow cave, said Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

Brock was "very, very fatigued and weak" when he finally emerged from the cave around 6 a.m. Saturday, Cannon said. "He couldn't walk by himself."

Brock's mother, Holly Clark, said Saturday that he was wedged in the narrow cave with his left leg behind him, and that his blood circulation was affected all along his left side. Brock will remain in Mountain View Hospital in Payson until he regains his strength, she said.

Clark said her son was having difficulty straightening the leg. "He's doing surprisingly well," she said. Brock is strong, she said, but had been scared during the ordeal. "Who wouldn't be, trapped like that?" she said.

Cannon said Brock was leading a group of about six teens exploring the cave, about seven miles west of U-68 on the west side of Utah Lake.

The youth had gone in head first. When he realized he'd gotten a little off course, he tried to twist his way back out but only wedged himself in tighter.

One of his friends stayed with him while others went to get help. Clark said rescuers were notified about 6 p.m. but it took some time after that for the rescue operation to begin.

Cannon said that Brock "did as much shimmying as he could" as rescuers coached, pushed and pulled him about 400 feet over rocks and through narrow cracks in the cave.

The cave, which has a near-vertical entry before leveling, is popular with spelunkers. Cannon said rescuers get called a couple of times a year to pull people out. "There are some fairly steep and difficult areas," in the cave, he said.

Clark, who said she was an athletic person, would like to go into the cave to see where her boy got stuck. "Groups go in all the time," she said. "I think he just got to a little dead end and didn't realize it."

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page AA6.

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Deseret News

Caver rescued from a tight spot

By Rodger L. Hardy
Deseret Morning News

Saturday, Aug. 21, 2004 10:07 p.m. MDT

A 16-year-old Orem boy has been hospitalized in stable condition after spending the night wedged between a rock and a hard place.
Brock Clark was the lead spelunker exploring the Nutty Putty Cave with at least five other youths, about seven miles west of Utah Lake in southwest Utah County on Friday, Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.
Clark ascended into a narrow, vertical cave head first and became stuck upside down, Cannon said. It took rescuers nearly 10 hours to extract him from his precarious position. Then it took another two hours to help him recuperate enough from a weakened condition to get him down to his parents, Cannon said.
About 20 rescuers used ropes and patience once he was free of the cave's grasp to walk him down to a waiting ambulance where emergency medical technicians with the Eureka ambulance service evaluated him.
Clark's mother, Holly Clark, told the Associated Press Saturday that he was wedged in the narrow cave with his left leg behind him, and that his blood circulation was affected all along his left side.
Clark is being treated at Mountainview Hospital in Payson and will remain there until he regains his strength, his mother said.
"We wiggled, pulled and pushed a millimeter at a time. It was very fatiguing to him," Cannon said.
Holly Clark said her son was having difficulty straightening the leg. "He's doing surprisingly well," she said. Brock is strong, she said, but had been scared during the ordeal. "Who wouldn't be, trapped like that?" she said.
The cave, which has a near-vertical entry before leveling, is popular with spelunkers. Cannon said rescuers get called a couple of times a year to pull people out. "There are some fairly steep and difficult areas," in the cave, he said.
Clark would like to go into the cave to see where her boy got stuck. "Groups go in all the time," she said. "I think he just got to a little dead end and didn't realize it."

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