Dog Jumped Into Hot Springs and Friend Tried to Save Him

  • Witnesses heard him say, “That was stupid. How bad am I? That was a stupid thing I did.”

Pets are family to most people and most dog owners would do anything to take care of their doggo. But when aman rushed to save this pup, he paid the ultimate price.

David Alan Kirwan and Ronald Ratliff, along with Ratliff’s dog Moosie, were traveling through Yellowstone Park in 1981. On July 20th, at about 1pm, Moosie got loose and dived into the hot spring.

Moosie had made a terrible mistake, diving into the Celestine Spring that’s known to get as hot as 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Hearing Moosie yelping in pain, both Kirwan and Ratliff rushed to his aid. Despite pleas from onlookers, Kirwan dived into the boiling hot water to get his friend’s dog.

Kirwan swam out to the dog and attempted to lift them out but was unable to do so. He disappeared under the water as he let go of Moosie.

Kirwan then returned to the surface and attempted to escape the pool. Ratliff was able to pull his friend from the pool, but it was later discovered that Kirwan had gotten second degree burns on his feet.

Witnesses heard him say, “That was stupid. How bad am I? That was a stupid thing I did.”

Kirwan was blinded by the experience, but that wasn’t all. Someone attempted to remove his shoes, and his skin came off with them. Eek.

Kirwan got third degree burns on the entirety of his body, including his head, and died the following morning at Salt Lake City hospital. Moosie, the dog, didn’t make it either.

Yellowstone’s hot springs are extremely dangerous and some of them can get as hot as 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Since 1870, 22 scalding deaths have been reported in the park’s hot springs.

Most deaths are a result of falling in the water, so Kirwan’s death stands out as he voluntarily jumped in. Another man in 2001 was able to avoid a similar fate after he too went in after his dog. The 39-year old got second degree burns but he did survive.

Be careful out there, people!

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