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Five People Trapped By Flood Waters Emerge Unscathed From Cave

December 2, 1990

NEW SCOTLAND, N.Y. (AP) _ Three men and two women emerged wet, shivering but happy late Saturday after being trapped in a cave for about seven hours by a flash flood.

The five spelunkers crawled out of Onesquethaw Cave under their own power at 11:20 p.m. to the cheers of about 100 rescue workers gathered around the cave’s entrance.

They smiled as rescue workers stripped off their wet clothes and covered them with blankets. The five were taken to local hospitals for observation, although officials at the scene said they appeared healthy.

″It’s a great feeling of relief. We lucked out. We won,″ said Jeff Mudge, liaison fire officer for the Onesquethaw Volunteer Fire Company. ″You don’t know how good this feels.″

Authorities identified the spelunkers as Laura Selicaro, 20; Lynn Cowan, 22; Peter Bowie, 20; Scott Baisch, 22; and Nicholas Springer, 20, all members of the Syracuse University Outing Club.

They were trapped in the mile-long cave when a beaver dam upstream of the cave’s entrance burst at about 4:30 p.m. The cave is about 10 miles southwest of Albany.

Rescue squads had searched in vain before the explorers came out on their own.