On September 9th, 2017 at about 1326 hours Deschutes County 911 received a report from Nathan Rose of Bend that Tyrell Bailey of Bend had fallen in the Bessie Butte Cave near China Hat Road and Forest Service Road 1810. Rose reported that he and some friends including Bailey had descended into Bessie Butte Cave and Bailey had fallen as he tried to exit the cave. Bailey was reported to be injured and unable to exit the cave on his own. Deschutes County Sheriff‘s Office Deputies, Bend Fire Department, a Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer and 20 Deschutes County Sheriff‘s Office Search and Rescue personnel responded to the scene.
A technical rescue system was set up by Bend Fire and DCSO SAR personnel. The system included an artificial high directional and a rope system to raise the patient out of the cave which included a 30 foot vertical section.
Bessie Butte Cave consists of a confined space entrance which limits accessibility. Bailey and his climbing partners had limited experience and poor equipment to attempt entry into such a cave.
Deschutes County Sheriff‘s Office would like to remind those recreating in and around caves, to be familiar with the type of cave, access and exit gear requirements and the technical skills required to safely complete such an exploration.
Bailey was transported by Bend Fire Medics with non life threatening injuries.