Talofofo death again underscores importance of hiking safety

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According to Dave Lotz, the author of the hiking guide titled "The Best Tracks on Guam" and a hiker with over 40 years of experience, caves pose some hazards for hikers.
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The death of a man Saturday morning after he fell 100 feet inside a Talofofo cave again underscores the importance of preparing for a hike and observing safe hiking guidelines.

According to Dave Lotz, the author of the hiking guide titled “The Best Tracks on Guam” and a hiker with over 40 years of experience, caves pose some hazards for hikers.

“The biggest concern is that there are a couple of dropoffs that can be rather serious so it is best to avoid them. Only make an attempt to go down if you really are experienced and have a good understanding of what you’re getting into,” Lotz said.

When going on a hike, Lotz stressed that participants should be cautious and take certain measures to ensure a safe hike.

“Caves are an added risk and I think it’s important to make assessments before you go. It may not be as formal as some agencies, but sit down and assess the situation and see what the risks are,” Lotz said.

According to Guam Fire Department spokesperson Kevin Reilly, the incident happened just before 11 a.m. Saturday.

A Caucasian man, estimated to be between 50 to 60 years old, fell while climbing inside the cave. He was part of the Boonie Stompers hiking group exploring the Talofofo caves.

A GFD rescue team descended into the cave and found the man but due to the severity of his injuries from the fall, Reilly said CPR was withheld.

Rescuers recovered the body of the man late Saturday afternoon. His identity has not yet been released.

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