Chesterton Tribune



Man dies in Indiana cave he explored for years

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CORYDON, Ind. (AP) - A man who died while exploring a treacherous southern Indiana cave with several friends over the weekend had been traversing through it for years.

Timothy McLain, 49, of Brownsburg, died Saturday evening more than two miles into Blowing Hole Cave near Corydon, according to state conservation officers. McLain was among a group of eight people when he suddenly collapsed, fellow caver Rand Heazlitt of Corydon told The Indianapolis Star.

"He was laughing, having a good time when they were getting to a duck-under spot,” Heazlitt said. “A couple people had gotten under when someone yelled ‘We’ve got a problem.’”

Conservation Officer Jim Schreck said an autopsy was planned, but a medical issue is the suspected cause of McLain’s death.

Heazlitt said the cavers tried to resuscitate McLain as they worked for hours to carry his body to the surface of the cave that’s part of the sprawling Binkley Cave system.

“He was just laughing one minute and the next minute, he was gone,” Heazlitt said.

McLain wrote an Indiana Caverns blog article in August about the discovery of a new underground river in the cave system about 25 miles west of Louisville, Ky.

“Binkley Cave continues to amaze us, allowing us to keep expanding its boundaries farther and farther, while fueling further speculation about where it will go,” McLain wrote. “It keeps us excited and motivated to find out.”

The cave system is treacherous, with chest-deep waters and tight crevices requiring cavers to take part in strenuous crawls to maneuver, Schreck said.



Posted 11/25/2013