Report: Man died seeking place to soak in Yellowstone park

Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. — An Oregon man who died after falling into a scalding Yellowstone National Park hot spring was looking for a place to “hot pot,” the forbidden practice of soaking in one of the park’s thermal features, officials said.

Sable Scott told investigators that she and her 23-year-old brother, Colin, left a boardwalk near Pork Chop Geyser on June 7 and walked several hundred feet up a hill in search of “a place that they could potentially get into and soak,” Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress told KULR-TV in an interview.

As Sable Scott took video of her brother with her cellphone, he reached down to check the water temperature and slipped and fell into the hot pool, according to the incident report obtained by KULR through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Park officials did not release the video or a description of it.

Search and rescue rangers spotted Colin Scott’s body in the pool the day of the accident, but a lightning storm prevented recovery.

The next day, workers could not find any remains in the churning, acidic water, Veress said.

“In very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving,” Veress said.

The National Park Service did not issue any citations in Colin Scott’s death.

Scott was on a college graduation trip with his sister at the time of his death, which came a day after six people were cited for walking off-trail at the park’s Grand Prismatic Spring.

A week later, a tourist from China was fined $1,000 for breaking through the fragile crust in the Mammoth Hot Springs area, apparently to collect water for medicinal purposes.

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