The full details of an accidental death this summer of an Oregon man in a Yellowstone hot spring were made public after a request under the freedom of information act was filed.
On the afternoon of June 7, 23-year old Colin Nathaniel Scott of Portland, Oregon, and his sister left the the boardwalk near Pork Chop Geyser and walked several hundred feet uphill in search of “a place that they could potentially get into and soak, I think they call it Hot Potting.”” according to a KULR-TV interview with Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress.
Colin Nathaniel Scott was reaching down to check the temperature of the hot spring when he slipped and fell into the pool. His sister was recording with her phone when he fell, the incident was captured on video. Park officials did not release the video or even a description of it.
Search and rescuers spotted Scott’s body the day of the accident but were unable to recover the body due to lightening storms. They returned the next day but there were no traces of remains in the boiling acidic waters.
“In very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving.” -Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress.
Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress went on to explain, “There’s a closure in place to keep people from doing that for their own safety and also to protect the resources because they are very fragile. But, most importantly for the safety of people because it’s a very unforgiving environment.”
There were several signs around the area where Scott and his sister left the boardwalk warning visitors of the danger of the park’s geothermal features. Veress said there is an abundance of signage because, “It is wild and it hasn’t been overly altered by people to make things a whole lot safer, it’s got dangers. And a place like Yellowstone which is set aside because of the incredible geothermal resources that are here, all the more so.”
No citations were handed out in relation to the incident.