2 UF Students Die While Exploring Caves
A weekend of cave exploration turned deadly for two University of Florida students.
Grant Lockenbach and Michael Pirie were at Pigeon Mountain near Lafayette, Georgia along with 8 other UF students this weekend.
According to authorities, 20 year old Lockenbach repelled down a 125 foot drop around 1 pm yesterday and got stuck about half way down. He called for help and 18 year old Michael Pirie went down to get him.
Pirie also got stuck and called out to the rest of the group. They called 9-1-1 at 2:19 at rescuers arrived about an hour later.
When rescuers went down into the cave, they found Lockenbach and Pirie deceased. Local FCA Representative Caroline White said, "Grant was active in ROTC, President of FCA, leadership team, just an amazing guy who would've been turning 21 on February 19th." White also said, "Mike was a freshman from Orlando, Florida who was involved in ROTC as well and the band. Just a great guy...they hung out together actually. Mike's facebook profile picture is of him and Grant I believe doing one of these trips. Just a very close knit group of kids who are definitely feeling the loss of these two individuals."
Ellison Cave where the young men died is one of the deepest in the country. Autopsies will be conducted to determine the cause of death, but hypothermia is believed to be a factor.
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