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08th Apr 2024

Man who jumped into boiling hot spring to save his dog had one of the worst deaths of all time


A man suffered one of the worst deaths imaginable after jumping into a boiling hot spring

David Alan Kirwan was walking through Yellowstone National Park back in 1981 when his dog Moosie dived into a hot spring.

The 24-year-old jumped to action, and he followed his pet into the Celestine Spring in order to rescue the mixed-breed boxer.

He took a couple steps towards the spring, and then dove headfirst into the boiling waters.

Celestine Spring is known to reach temperatures of up to 93C (200F), and so understandably from here things started to go wrong.

Kirwan attempted to swim to grab his dog, but fell under the water after trying to bring him to shore.

Ronald Ratliff, who was with Kirwan on their walk, managed to help his friend out of the water, but suffered second degree burns on his feet as a result.

Kirwan, however, had fared much worse. His time in the hot spring waters left him blind and his skin had turned white. When a park warden tried to remove his shoes, his skin came off with them.

“That was stupid. How bad am I? That was a stupid thing I did,” witnesses heard Kirwan say, per The Daily Star, before the ambulance turned up.

He suffered third-degree burns on 100% of his body. He died the next day.

“He liked dogs and when the dog went in, his friend told him not to go in (after her), but David went in,” James Kirwan said of his son.

Related links:

Man trying to ‘hot pot’ fell into Yellowstone hot spring and was completely dissolved within a day

Man who died ‘the worst death imaginable’ still entombed in cave more than a decade later