During a Boy Scout trip, a 13 year-old Boy Scout was injured when rappelling as he fell to the rocks and ground below.
Review of the Case:
A Boy Scout Troop decided to earn their climbing/rappelling badges, so the adult volunteers needed to take the BSA “Climb On Safely” training and buy the necessary equipment. A consent/waiver form was signed by each of the participants’ parents before being allowed to go on the trip.
rappellingThe boys all met at a predetermined site and caravanned to the canyon. They climbed and rappelled that Saturday then camped outside of the park. The next day, Sunday, October 1, 2006, they went to a different site and set up two stations, a rappelling station and a climbing station.
One volunteer stated he was on top making sure the boys hooked themselves up correctly and were making the right calls and knew where to put their brake hand. They were using a single rope to rappel on and a bottom belayer. There were two ropes set up, though – one primarily for climbing, the other for rappelling.
A 13-year-old Boy Scout had climbed and rappelled numerous times that weekend. He hooked himself up and another Boy Scout checked his harness. A volunteer stated he came over to check the boy from head-to-toe to make sure he had hooked all his equipment up correctly. The 13 year-old Scout stated he was told he was fine to begin his rappel, and then he made the proper calls (belay on, etc.) A witness saw the boy properly walk backwards to the edge, lean back, and then just fall. The witness noticed the boy attempted to brake himself but was not stopping or slowing down. He hit the rocks as he fell, bounced, and landed on the ground, breaking his heels, fracturing his spine, and suffering rope burns on his chest and belly.
An ambulance arrived quickly, and the boy was put on a stretcher with a board and brought to the hospital. He had months of severe pain as he recuperated and multiple surgeries on his feet throughout the years.