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veit

After tragic death of experienced geocacher - what needs to change?

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Thanks to you Veit for already uploading the pictues. I also just wanted to do this after scanning the newspaper some minutes ago...

 

As already mentioned, the whole community here is terribly shocked. Saturday - one day after the accident - there was an event in Dresden with nearly 300 people. We've made a minute of silence for Willi and it is impressive to see this enormous condolence here.

 

Some words from me to the initial topic of Veit:

 

Sure, everyone is responsible for their decisions, sure not every cacher clearly reads cache descriptions or logs. And yes, D, T, attributes and description already a good way to mention risks.

 

BUT:

 

1. Everything the CO states in the listing is subjective from his point of view.

2. Even if you read logs, would you find every mentioned risk if there are dozens of logs?

 

So what is the problem of some additional possibility to note warnings and extra risks? If someone doesn't want's to use this feature, just let it. But if you really want to tell other cachers important things, why not with an extra log type or something? If you could save one person in having a serious accident it should be worth doing it.

 

Bad decisions happen. But decisions are usually made by knowing different facts about something. If there is one extra fact telling you about an extra danger or something, maybe you won't take the risk...

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It might sound heartless, but I need to admit that it was clear to me that accidents like the one in Pirna were just a matter of time.

 

I agree, and there will be more accidents in the future. I guess I'm biased right now, but just today reading very few logs on other caches I noticed another one of a cacher warning others of a deep hole near a cache, and a cache by Willi's dad where he warned of electrical equipment nearby. We will never eliminate all risk and accidents, but right now I see a huge need for improvements. Willi's death should be a wakeup call to do everything we can to minimize the risk of this happening again.

 

It is however not that easy to take action. Sure there are no permissions for such caches, but I do not have permission for my caches in forest areas either.

Sure such caches are dangerous, but there are dangerous climbing routes and many other dangerous things on world as well.

 

I think it IS easy to take action - an new log type is a few programmer hours for Groundspeak. A special section in every cache might be a bit more. A communication campaign also might help (though I'm not sure it will help with very specific risks for a cache). BECAUSE there are quite a lot of dangers out there I think many eyes see much more than just 4 (the CO's and the cacher's).

 

What might make a difference is that for climbing it is typically possible to come along with safety equipment while for bridge caches like the one mentioned

above there is no reasonable security measure available.

 

A simple warning: "Watch out, there's a hole in the middle of the bridge!" - no matter if posted by CO or other cachers...but VISIBLE might have saved his life.

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#2 The structure where the cache was placed was off limits, but signage was missing.

 

Yes, but of course everyone knows that the access to unauthorized people is forbidden and certainly the cache owners have been aware of it as well. There are also no signs around that we are not allowed to steal someone else's property since that's well known as well.

 

Cezanne

 

Point taken. But let's get the facts straight before we branch out into common knowledge.

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P.S.: I would really, really appreciate if we could put the discussion about lawsuits, liability, legal issues into another thread. I'm really most interested in getting ideas how to make sure this doesn't happen again, less cachers get hurt or killed in the future. I know that it's a cultural thing (I was about to ask the first commenter after the pictures above if he/she was American...I love the States, have lived there as an exchange student, so no disrespect), so no offense on either side please.

 

I agree. I think you are doing a great job moderating this thread.

 

Thanks very much for the pictures. They help a lot.

 

Let's look at the facts together and see how this type of accident can be prevented in the future without laying blame.

 

#1 The accident appears to have happened at night.

#2 The structure where the cache was placed was off limits, but signage was missing.

#3 The lock to the catwalk was broken.

#4 The cache was placed near a gap in the walkway.

#5 Fatal injuries (to the head) were caused by a fall from the height above the (appears to be) drainage canal or urban river. (Man made looking.)

#6 The water level was very low offering no cushion to the fall.

 

Do I have that much right?

 

Yes, from what we know so far, that's correct. I think a very important point is also that he was alone.

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It is however not that easy to take action. Sure there are no permissions for such caches, but I do not have permission for my caches in forest areas either.

Sure such caches are dangerous, but there are dangerous climbing routes and many other dangerous things on world as well.

 

I think it IS easy to take action - an new log type is a few programmer hours for Groundspeak. A special section in every cache might be a bit more.

 

The difference between you and me is that I do not think that additional logs will change anything. In case the cache owner acts in a responsible he/she will be willing to add additional warnings that are mentioned in needs maintenance logs.

 

With my statement above I meant something different. The bridge cache I have referred to above has been very popular and received many logs of the type "That's how caching is supposed to be" while less risky caches often get TFTC logs. There would not have existed a single warning I could have added without being treated like a coward from large parts of the community. Moreover, warnings provided by those who have not accomplished a "found it" log are in general not taken very seriously in some parts of the community.

 

What I do hope, however, is that accidents like the one in Pirna and others that have happened this year, will change the attitude of the community at least a bit and will increase the importance of security issues which are easily overlooked. It appears to me that way too many geocachers get involved into many risks they would not get involved at all without geocaching. I think that less group pressure might be helpful - it should not happen that it is required to find certain caches or a certain number of caches to belong to a certain group that identifies itself in this manner.

E.g. I felt quite uncomfortable when I came across the Gaylord Focker hype in some parts of the Austrian geocacher community

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx?u=Sir+Gaylord+Focker

 

A communication campaign also might help (though I'm not sure it will help with very specific risks for a cache). BECAUSE there are quite a lot of dangers out there I think many eyes see much more than just 4 (the CO's and the cacher's).

 

I think that some input by experts having some training on security issues does help. For example, I appreciate the logs of a cacher who has a training as hiking guide and who is regularly leading groups. He often assesses the risks quite differently than the cache owner, but often gets annoying replies to his comments.

 

A simple warning: "Watch out, there's a hole in the middle of the bridge!" - no matter if posted by CO or other cachers...but VISIBLE might have saved his life.

 

Maybe - we do not know. But as no cacher posted such a warning it is hypothetical anyway. Why do you think that cachers will take the time to write special logs if they do not even mention such things in their normal logs?

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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I think it IS easy to take action - an new log type is a few programmer hours for Groundspeak. A special section in every cache might be a bit more.

 

100% ACK! This is really not much work to add such important things! And I know what I'm saying as an IT specialist and software engineer.

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I'm really most interested in getting ideas how to make sure this doesn't happen again, less cachers get hurt or killed in the future.

Caches like this really make me wonder about the reviewing process, but the best way to have prevented this tragedy would have been for one of the previous seekers to have slapped a Needs Archived log on this cache. A cache to be done at night on a utility bridge with a missing catwalk section and a broken lock on the access hatch. If that did not give anyone pause, why would warnings on a cache page be of any use?

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P.S.: I would really, really appreciate if we could put the discussion about lawsuits, liability, legal issues into another thread. I'm really most interested in getting ideas how to make sure this doesn't happen again, less cachers get hurt or killed in the future. I know that it's a cultural thing (I was about to ask the first commenter after the pictures above if he/she was American...I love the States, have lived there as an exchange student, so no disrespect), so no offense on either side please.

 

I agree. I think you are doing a great job moderating this thread.

 

Thanks very much for the pictures. They help a lot.

 

Let's look at the facts together and see how this type of accident can be prevented in the future without laying blame.

 

#1 The accident appears to have happened at night.

#2 The structure where the cache was placed was off limits, but signage was missing.

#3 The lock to the catwalk was broken.

#4 The cache was placed near a gap in the walkway.

#5 Fatal injuries (to the head) were caused by a fall from the height above the (appears to be) drainage canal or urban river. (Man made looking.)

#6 The water level was very low offering no cushion to the fall.

 

Do I have that much right?

 

Yes, from what we know so far, that's correct. I think a very important point is also that he was alone.

Excellent. I forgot that detail trying to arrange the others.

 

#1 Willi was alone.

#2 The accident appears to have happened at night.

#3 The structure where the cache was placed was off limits, but signage was missing.

#4 The lock to the catwalk was broken.

#5 The cache was placed near a gap in the walkway.

#6 Fatal injuries (to the head) were caused by a fall from the height above the (appears to be) drainage canal or urban river. (Man made looking.)

#7 The water level was very low offering no cushion to the fall.

 

Does anyone else see a fact that needs to be added to the list? Unfortunately I run out of time to study the article for awhile. Back later.

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Why do you think that cachers will take the time to write special logs if they do not even mention such things in their normal logs?

 

My strong hunch is that it's a cultural thing - as in every cool new thing on the net (as which gc started out), you want to concentrate only on the positive side, a standard "Warning" logtype from the beginning might not really help that message (and believe me, I know what I'm talking about, check out my gc-profile so see what I'm doing "in real life"). Since there is no special section for it, we (as a community) in general give it less importance.

 

And more cultural things have evolved over time: we post logs about wet logbooks, heck we even have a freaking logtype if that plastic box "needs maintenance". But we don't have one to warn others of possible dangers to their life and health? Yes, I might get a bit worked up, but with the new facts it's obvious that this will come - Willi's death will have consequences for the geocaching platform. This thread and the thoughts will not go away - just think it through - if media organizations get any whiff of this - "Why does Groundspeak refuse to let cachers easily warn others of possible dangers after this tragic death could easily have been avoided?". It's a small change to our platform that could possibly save lifes, I know things generally move slow with gc.com, but here they better get on the ball.

 

I really don't know the chain of command around here, but could someone get the boss involved? I think he's got a chance to put out this fire before it really starts.

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... we even have a freaking logtype if that plastic box "needs maintenance". But we don't have one to warn others of possible dangers to their life and health?

If we're thinking up solutions, it would be instructive to see other examples of "problem" caches (thank you to cezanne for the Death Train one).

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What I find striking here is that most of the fatalities I have read about on these forums were not at particularly dangerous caches. They were somewhat more dangerous than walking down the street, then a cacher who wasn't taking due care made a mistake. I am thinking of this incident, as well as the one last year at a roadside pull off in BC (Canada). I think my takeaway is to never loose vigilance in safety matters. Look both ways befor crossing the road. Double check your handholds when making a tricky scramble. etc.

 

I seem to recall a fatality shortly after I started caching involving a more dangerous cache (in Oregon?)

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Why do you think that cachers will take the time to write special logs if they do not even mention such things in their normal logs?

 

My strong hunch is that it's a cultural thing - as in every cool new thing on the net (as which gc started out), you want to concentrate only on the positive side, a standard "Warning" logtype from the beginning might not really help that message (and believe me, I know what I'm talking about, check out my gc-profile so see what I'm doing "in real life"). Since there is no special section for it, we (as a community) in general give it less importance.

 

This does not explain the differences between different countries. Take e.g. the US: Caches that are regarded as cool in countries like Germany and Austria are much more likely to be frowned upon in North America.

 

I really don't know the chain of command around here, but could someone get the boss involved? I think he's got a chance to put out this fire before it really starts.

 

You can post a suggestion for a new feature in this section of the forum.

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showforum=8

Read the first posting, however, before you head off.

 

Cezanne

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"Why does Groundspeak refuse to let cachers easily warn others of possible dangers after this tragic death could easily have been avoided?".

 

But they can warn others. They can post Note logs with all sorts of warnings. Doesn't mean people will read them or heed them.

 

I have "Hunting" attributes on a good number of my cache listings, and include links to the regulations regarding wearing blaze orange during hunting seasons. Yet people still go out into the woods during hunting season without their blaze orange on.

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I'm really most interested in getting ideas how to make sure this doesn't happen again, less cachers get hurt or killed in the future.

Caches like this really make me wonder about the reviewing process, but the best way to have prevented this tragedy would have been for one of the previous seekers to have slapped a Needs Archived log on this cache. A cache to be done at night on a utility bridge with a missing catwalk section and a broken lock on the access hatch. If that did not give anyone pause, why would warnings on a cache page be of any use?

 

Posters of needs archived logs are often treated in a nasty way - one might reconsider it several times before posting a needs archived log for a cache that certain groups find very cool and that got approved. For example, I recall the following cache where a cacher from Vienna became aware of a problem cache via the detour of a German cacher forum. He then dared to post a needs archive log, but received many insulting reactions, many more than can be seen in the log section

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=bb094c3b-0f2d-4ffc-83d1-527e9e458288

Even terms like GECAPO (for secret geocaching police - with some intended link to GESTAPO) are used for cachers who write needs archived logs for the beloved caches of others.

 

 

Cezanne

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Thanks for the link to the feature request Form, Cezanne - I just posted the request there: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=287312

 

@BBWolf+3Pigs: Please. Of course we can all post logs. And of course you and I and probably everyone discussing this here knows that logs get either buried over time, and that it's a totally different thing of having to scan dozens or hundreds of logs for a potential warning than having those listed noticeably on the top.

Edited by veit

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I agree, and there will be more accidents in the future. I guess I'm biased right now, but just today reading very few logs on other caches I noticed another one of a cacher warning others of a deep hole near a cache, and a cache by Willi's dad where he warned of electrical equipment nearby. We will never eliminate all risk and accidents, but right now I see a huge need for improvements. Willi's death should be a wakeup call to do everything we can to minimize the risk of this happening again.

 

I think it IS easy to take action - an new log type is a few programmer hours for Groundspeak. A special section in every cache might be a bit more. A communication campaign also might help (though I'm not sure it will help with very specific risks for a cache). BECAUSE there are quite a lot of dangers out there I think many eyes see much more than just 4 (the CO's and the cacher's).

 

What might make a difference is that for climbing it is typically possible to come along with safety equipment while for bridge caches like the one mentioned

above there is no reasonable security measure available.

 

A simple warning: "Watch out, there's a hole in the middle of the bridge!" - no matter if posted by CO or other cachers...but VISIBLE might have saved his life.

These are nice ideas but as many have stated, a lot of cachers do not read the cache page nor read previous logs. A bigger problem that many cachers will face with this idea of having a "warning" spot on the cache page, is old and outdated information on their device or offline database.

 

How many cachers just load a PQ into their device and head out and never really looked at any of the pages prior? How many have loaded a PQ of an area they plan to do but did not have the opportunity to visit that area and leave that old PQ on their device for a later time? How many use GSAK or something similar and have multiple queries run during the week and only get those queries updated weekly? How many times have you gone to look for a cache that you couldn't find only to come back and log a DNF and now see that the cache had been disabled or archived because you didn't update your information on the unit.

 

These are just a few scenarios where, even if we did have a "warning" section, a cacher will never see an update to that section. The only way that this truly would work is if we had units that never loaded information into them but accessed the information like the iPhone app via a data plan. This way we would only get active caches with upto date info.

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What needs to change is people need to not hide caches like this one, enticing others into extremely dangerous situations / deathtraps.

 

After looking at the pictures, and seeing the recommendation to hunt this at night, I'm sorry, but this is the cache owner's fault, in my opinion, and could have been prevented by him having the good sense to not hide this in the first place. What was he thinking?

 

It's fine to have caches that require a physical challenge or some element of personal risk or danger. MANY outdoor activities involve risk. (I live near the lake, people drown out here from time to time.) This was just irresponsible though, in my opinion. Under cover of darkness, on a black bridge, how was the finder even supposed to SEE that gap? (Not to mention the chance of rain or ice that could turn an ordinary slip into a fatal event.)

 

This should never have been listed. (Not blaming gc.com or even neccessarily the reviewer - they likely didn't know about this hazard at all.)

 

Anyway, it seems pretty clear to me what we can learn from this - if you are going to hide a cache like this, think carefully about the inherent risks, and if it is just too dangerous, or an accident is too likely, don't freaking hide the cache! Seriously, figuring out how to approach or solve some caches is a fun activity. People who guess wrong shouldn't die, and if you think up something like that - do not place it.

 

If you are a CO, and you think the hide is pretty safe, and you start to see notes from people that worry you - SHUT THE THING DOWN UNTIL YOU CAN INVESTIGATE AND KNOW WHAT IS GOING WRONG!

 

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Posters of needs archived logs are often treated in a nasty way - one might reconsider it several times before posting a needs archived log for a cache that certain groups find very cool and that got approved. For example, I recall the following cache where a cacher from Vienna became aware of a problem cache via the detour of a German cacher forum. He then dared to post a needs archive log, but received many insulting reactions, many more than can be seen in the log section

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=bb094c3b-0f2d-4ffc-83d1-527e9e458288

Even terms like GECAPO (for secret geocaching police - with some intended link to GESTAPO) are used for cachers who write needs archived logs for the beloved caches of others.

One also can send a private email to the local reviewer explaining why a cache should be archived.

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I'm really most interested in getting ideas how to make sure this doesn't happen again, less cachers get hurt or killed in the future.

Caches like this really make me wonder about the reviewing process, but the best way to have prevented this tragedy would have been for one of the previous seekers to have slapped a Needs Archived log on this cache. A cache to be done at night on a utility bridge with a missing catwalk section and a broken lock on the access hatch. If that did not give anyone pause, why would warnings on a cache page be of any use?

 

Posters of needs archived logs are often treated in a nasty way - one might reconsider it several times before posting a needs archived log for a cache that certain groups find very cool and that got approved. For example, I recall the following cache where a cacher from Vienna became aware of a problem cache via the detour of a German cacher forum. He then dared to post a needs archive log, but received many insulting reactions, many more than can be seen in the log section

http://www.geocachin...d1-527e9e458288

Even terms like GECAPO (for secret geocaching police - with some intended link to GESTAPO) are used for cachers who write needs archived logs for the beloved caches of others.

 

Cezanne

OCD is the part of geocaching no one likes to talk about, but it does have a very real affect on the culture of this game. And yes, there is an element in caching that resents anyone interfering with their ability to find every cache. Working on changing that all too common attitude would be a good place to start. One can always contact a reviewer or Groundspeak directly. They won't be necessarily be very enthusiastic, but they will at least be reasonable most of the time.

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P.S.: I would really, really appreciate if we could put the discussion about lawsuits, liability, legal issues into another thread. I'm really most interested in getting ideas how to make sure this doesn't happen again, less cachers get hurt or killed in the future. I know that it's a cultural thing (I was about to ask the first commenter after the pictures above if he/she was American...I love the States, have lived there as an exchange student, so no disrespect), so no offense on either side please.

 

I agree. I think you are doing a great job moderating this thread.

 

Thanks very much for the pictures. They help a lot.

 

Let's look at the facts together and see how this type of accident can be prevented in the future without laying blame.

 

#1 The accident appears to have happened at night.

#2 The structure where the cache was placed was off limits, but signage was missing.

#3 The lock to the catwalk was broken.

#4 The cache was placed near a gap in the walkway.

#5 Fatal injuries (to the head) were caused by a fall from the height above the (appears to be) drainage canal or urban river. (Man made looking.)

#6 The water level was very low offering no cushion to the fall.

 

Do I have that much right?

 

I guess I still am not clear about one thing... is this thread about this particular cache, and how this particular death could have been avoided, or is it about the bigger picture of how can accidents like this one be prevented on any and all caches?

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I'm really most interested in getting ideas how to make sure this doesn't happen again, less cachers get hurt or killed in the future.

Caches like this really make me wonder about the reviewing process, but the best way to have prevented this tragedy would have been for one of the previous seekers to have slapped a Needs Archived log on this cache. A cache to be done at night on a utility bridge with a missing catwalk section and a broken lock on the access hatch. If that did not give anyone pause, why would warnings on a cache page be of any use?

 

Posters of needs archived logs are often treated in a nasty way - one might reconsider it several times before posting a needs archived log for a cache that certain groups find very cool and that got approved. For example, I recall the following cache where a cacher from Vienna became aware of a problem cache via the detour of a German cacher forum. He then dared to post a needs archive log, but received many insulting reactions, many more than can be seen in the log section

http://www.geocachin...d1-527e9e458288

Even terms like GECAPO (for secret geocaching police - with some intended link to GESTAPO) are used for cachers who write needs archived logs for the beloved caches of others.

 

Cezanne

OCD is the part of geocaching no one likes to talk about, but it does have a very real affect on the culture of this game. And yes, there is an element in caching that resents anyone interfering with their ability to find every cache. Working on changing that all too common attitude would be a good place to start. One can always contact a reviewer or Groundspeak directly. They won't be necessarily be very enthusiastic, but they will at least be reasonable most of the time.

 

Gotta say this, and then I'll drop it: what we generally call obsession and Obsessive-Compulsion Disorder (OCD) are two completely different things and really should not be used like that.

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I'd like to throw another idea out there that I've been thinking about: Willi was alone, I don't know how much it would have helped to have someone there in this specific case, but there are tons of other scenarios where it might be very good/wise to have other people around.

 

Myself, I usually also cache alone (sometimes with my gf or friends, but most often not). It's often simply easier (time wise, planning), I'm not a member of some team etc. I've tried logs ("note") in the past to try to go to a cache with others - admittedly not because of the risk, but because of missing equipment (chirp, radio). That didnt really work, it's terribly inefficient.

 

If there was a more efficient way, a standard feature to make "appointments" at a certain cache at a certain time, coupled with more messages on cache pages about security...maybe suggesting these appointments on caches with T3+, I think I might actually use this. Added benefit: you get to meet other cachers in the field, not just at meetings. I know there are efforts out there that go into this direction - live caching? or stuff like that, but if it's communicated as a great new safety feature that also helps lonely cachers meet others - maybe it could work.

 

I don't feel as strongly about it as about the Warnings...but thought I'd throw it out there.

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I guess I still am not clear about one thing... is this thread about this particular cache, and how this particular death could have been avoided, or is it about the bigger picture of how can accidents like this one be prevented on any and all caches?

 

Why can't it be both?

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I guess I still am not clear about one thing... is this thread about this particular cache, and how this particular death could have been avoided, or is it about the bigger picture of how can accidents like this one be prevented on any and all caches?

 

Why can't it be both?

 

Because each would have a completely different answer. Which answer are we looking for?

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I'd like to throw another idea out there that I've been thinking about: Willi was alone, I don't know how much it would have helped to have someone there in this specific case, but there are tons of other scenarios where it might be very good/wise to have other people around.

 

Myself, I usually also cache alone (sometimes with my gf or friends, but most often not). It's often simply easier (time wise, planning), I'm not a member of some team etc. I've tried logs ("note") in the past to try to go to a cache with others - admittedly not because of the risk, but because of missing equipment (chirp, radio). That didnt really work, it's terribly inefficient.

 

If there was a more efficient way, a standard feature to make "appointments" at a certain cache at a certain time, coupled with more messages on cache pages about security...maybe suggesting these appointments on caches with T3+, I think I might actually use this. Added benefit: you get to meet other cachers in the field, not just at meetings. I know there are efforts out there that go into this direction - live caching? or stuff like that, but if it's communicated as a great new safety feature that also helps lonely cachers meet others - maybe it could work.

 

I don't feel as strongly about it as about the Warnings...but thought I'd throw it out there.

 

Personally I cache alone a lot but when it matters I have someone with me. Again that comes down to the choice of the cacher at hand. I also rather have people I know and trust there for when it goes wrong fast. Not that I don't trust the local cachers but for example if I'm seeking a dangerous cache i want to know the skills of the people I'm going out there else there is a very real risk that their inexperience may end up being the catalyst for a bad thing to happen too. If you have random people showing up for lets a say a cache that required some degree of knowledge and ability to boulder or climb. I want someone there that knows what they're doing in taht situation. A person good at scuba diving but not climbing is not going to make me any safer other than to be able to call for help. Or worse yet I'd honestly hate to be stuck out somewhere dangerous with someone not of the age of majority because then I would guess the liability shifts rather quickly if that person gets injured or dies.

 

I would guess in this case if the cacher in question wanted to go out there with people he probably knew people he could call. And again it falls to the finder to assess the situation and decide if they want to do it alone or bring people with. We can already message cachers through this website and make private arrangements to meet somewhere.

 

I think what it comes down to is people need to use their tools at hand in a responsible fashion and they also have to make some healthy judgements. I have turned away from caches when alone only to come back with people with the appropriate experience so we could get through them together. There no rule thta just because you walk up to a cache area that you have to make the find if you don't feel safe.

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I did not read all of the comments. But first, let me say that this is sad and I pray for the family. Now as far as people 'arguing' (not really - just not a better term) about if there should be warnings vs. people using common sense.... well I think both should be exersized. Obviously people should use common sense. You, yourself know your own abilities better than anyone else. If you have a hard time climbing uphill... then dont go looking for a cache that is where you have to climb to get to it. But when a cache is somewhere out of the ordinary, there should be some sort of warning. There is an old abandoned mine near me. There is a cache there. The owners of the cache have stated to use caution - just in case. Perhaps Groundspeak can also make some sort of new difficulty rating... have the regular difficulty for the cache/location itself, but then something that can be added should the area be unstable.

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Caches placed on areas which require a combination of illegal access and obvious danger should not be placed. Existing ones should be archived. They make the entire sport look bad. Simply being in a dangerous spot is fine if the area is has legal access. There is a very large difference between dying while rappelling in a legal spot versus sneaking into a restricted area. The people who are in a restricted area are unlikely to be following any type of safety and will be more nervous about what they are doing.

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Thanks for the link to the feature request Form, Cezanne - I just posted the request there: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=287285

 

@BBWolf+3Pigs: Please. Of course we can all post logs. And of course you and I and probably everyone discussing this here knows that logs get either buried over time, and that it's a totally different thing of having to scan dozens or hundreds of logs for a potential warning than having those listed noticeably on the top.

 

It could be a warning in large red letters at the top middle and bottom of the cache listing. People will still go after if, ignoring the warnings and their own lack of abilities.

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I'm really most interested in getting ideas how to make sure this doesn't happen again, less cachers get hurt or killed in the future.

Caches like this really make me wonder about the reviewing process, but the best way to have prevented this tragedy would have been for one of the previous seekers to have slapped a Needs Archived log on this cache. A cache to be done at night on a utility bridge with a missing catwalk section and a broken lock on the access hatch. If that did not give anyone pause, why would warnings on a cache page be of any use?

 

Posters of needs archived logs are often treated in a nasty way - one might reconsider it several times before posting a needs archived log for a cache that certain groups find very cool and that got approved. For example, I recall the following cache where a cacher from Vienna became aware of a problem cache via the detour of a German cacher forum. He then dared to post a needs archive log, but received many insulting reactions, many more than can be seen in the log section

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=bb094c3b-0f2d-4ffc-83d1-527e9e458288

Even terms like GECAPO (for secret geocaching police - with some intended link to GESTAPO) are used for cachers who write needs archived logs for the beloved caches of others.

 

 

Cezanne

 

That's why a private email to the local reviewer works for me.

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It could be a warning in large red letters at the top middle and bottom of the cache listing. People will still go after if, ignoring the warnings and their own lack of abilities.

Some people might still go after it. Others might appreciate the warning and opt to skip it. The world isn't black-and-white; there are plenty of grays and lots of colors, too.

Edited by CanadianRockies

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Wouldn't it be great if the person who died (willi or someone on the future) was the one who read the big red letters and tuned back?

 

Accidentally like this while geocaching are so rare. If we could prevent them from happening again they why not??

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With the new information posted by the OP let me try to focus on the OP's original question: what should be changed to make geocaching safer and avoid situations such as the unfortunate death that started this thread? I will do so without using the word "blame".

 

1) "No caches in dangerous areas" is too broad to define and doesn't seem a real option. However, COs should make clear on the cache page any unusual dangers or important special equipment. Also, select the "Dangerous Area" attribute when reasonable.

 

2) Cachers who have a concern about the cache should post such concerns in their logs. Whether it's thorns or poison ivy or a missing grate on the bridge, all of them apply.

 

3) COs should actually read the logs they receive. In the case of something serious or dangerous, they should edit the cache page accordingly.

 

4) Don't go caching alone at night.

 

5) My two suspicions stated earlier have been confirmed by the new information: that the hatch should have been locked and the bridge was private power company property and not supposed to be publicly accessed. If the CO was aware of these factors, he should have never published the cache. If any of the 34(?) Finders were concerned about the location (from a legality/permission standpoint not a safety one), they should have mentioned it in a log or messaged the CO to inquire. Based on the CO's response, they might have needed to followed up with a NA log or a message to the local Reviewer. Cachers need to be more willing to stop and question placements.

 

A LPC in a parking lot may not be placed with explicit permission of the mall management, but you are not trespassing or potentially endangering yourself by searching for it (reckless drivers aside). The location of the fatal cache may not have only been private property but also off-limits to the public for safety reasons too. In America, even though the hatch was supposed to be locked and cachers were arguably trespassing, I could see a lawsuit happen because the bridge owners did not have "No Trespassing" signage posted.

 

This is why permission relates back to the OP's question: "what needs to change to be safer?" I hope somebody starts dropping the archive hammer.

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I don't think most cachers know that they can contact a reviewer and report a cache.

 

See that "Report" icon on the lower left side below this message? report.png Maybe we need something like that on each cache page (near the top so that people don't need to scroll down to see it).

 

The Report button is somewhat anonymous (only the Reviewer sees the reporter's trailname) and might work in a culture where posting a Needs Archive gets the community angry.

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- Maybe a special log type could raise awareness. Like "Needs maintenance" or "SBA" - "Warning". Just another idea.

 

I like that simple idea of a "Warning" log type. If there were lots of "Found" logs that I didn't want to read thru, I can look for just the "Warning" log to see what others may have found to be worth watching out for.

 

Warning logs like that would serve to keep some people away from the cache while attracting others. I think you'd very quickly see the law of unintended circumstances in action.

 

Yes, warnings WOULD keep some people away from that cache, perhaps those that have no business doing a difficult cache. Better yet...it would raise a flag to watch where you are going, or look out for certain dangers and make us more aware. I don't see how a "Warning" log would attract more people. For Example..."Warning: there are many steep, slippery slopes near the GZ zone" "Warning: Don't reach into any holes in the ground, lots of snakes in the area", etc.

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- Maybe a special log type could raise awareness. Like "Needs maintenance" or "SBA" - "Warning". Just another idea.

 

I like that simple idea of a "Warning" log type. If there were lots of "Found" logs that I didn't want to read thru, I can look for just the "Warning" log to see what others may have found to be worth watching out for.

 

Warning logs like that would serve to keep some people away from the cache while attracting others. I think you'd very quickly see the law of unintended circumstances in action.

 

Yes, warnings WOULD keep some people away from that cache, perhaps those that have no business doing a difficult cache. Better yet...it would raise a flag to watch where you are going, or look out for certain dangers and make us more aware. I don't see how a "Warning" log would attract more people. For Example..."Warning: there are many steep, slippery slopes near the GZ zone" "Warning: Don't reach into any holes in the ground, lots of snakes in the area", etc.

 

Because some people see warnings as great big signs that they must try it because it is dangerous. If people were thinking with clear heads and common sense all the time this wouldn't even have to be a discussion. But reality is people don't make good choices and accidents happen. Most people would have come upon this particular cache and stopped for any number of reasons (potentially trespassing, too dangerous to do alone etc.). I've seen comments in other threads glorifying the dangerous caches (which may or may not be placed with permission) as being more fun and all the rest of the caches being boring.

 

As a community there is much emphasis on doing harder terrain caches. Comments are made regularly about people should be doing those longer hikes and what not and not just sticking to the easy terrain caches if they want to see cool stuff. Which is true to a point but again people shouldn't be encouraged to do something they are not physically able to do.

 

Again like snoogan's said it's a safety culture thing and at this point we don't have a very safety oriented culture as a group. People don't want to contact reviewers with caches that are placed without permission, people dont' want to be the bad guy and whistle blow, people want to fit in with the crowd and do the "cool" caches and so on and so forth.

 

I would also imagine a warning log would likely end up with as much ire as negative comments in logs do or worse the treatment people get when the post an NA.

 

If people on all aspects of this used the tools they were given (logging their finds with concerns about issues, placing caches with permission, using NA logs, reading cache pages and logs before going out...) we would not be having this discussion. If people are unwilling to use what we have no I see little to no reason to add yet another thing to clutter things up.

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This death could have been avoided if Willi had seen/read/known about the missing piece of grille in the middle of the bridge.

It seems this death could have also been avoided if Willi had been watching his step, instead of his GPSr.

Note: Please don't interpret this as me not caring, or as me blaming Willi. Neither is true. The behavior I cited in big blue letters is how I go about finding most caches, and it could quite easily kill me some day. Hopefully, my friends won't take my death as a reason to circle the wagons, surrounding the planet with bubble wrap.

 

So what is the problem of some additional possibility to note warnings and extra risks?

I wouldn't say it's a "problem". But it is rather redundant.

There are warnings all over that cache page, to include the D/T rating, the attributes, the cache description and the past logs. There are also inherent warnings on site, such as freezing temperatures, metal structures, excess elevation and no safe landing area in case of a fall. Willi chose to attempt the cache despite the existence of those warnings. I think it is unrealistic to believe that someone would willingly ignore eight clear warnings, but would somehow listen to a ninth. We don't know if Willi read all the warnings on the page and dismissed them, or if he opted to go after a cache in a hazardous area without reading the page, but the outcome would have been the same, eventually. Willingly entering into a hazardous place, without proper preparation, can lead to tragedy.

 

A simple warning: "Watch out, there's a hole in the middle of the bridge!" - no matter if posted by CO or other cachers...but VISIBLE might have saved his life.

Maybe - we do not know. But as no cacher posted such a warning it is hypothetical anyway.

If I'm reading the translations properly, three people mentioned the hole in their logs, (I thought there were only two mentions in the log, but Veit says he found another), and the owner mentioned it on the cache page, in the hint field. I'm thinking it's not quite as hypothetical as you make it appear. They were there. They were VISIBLE. They did not save his life.

 

This thread and the thoughts will not go away - just think it through - if media organizations get any whiff of this - "Why does Groundspeak refuse to let cachers easily warn others of possible dangers after this tragic death could easily have been avoided?".

Hopefully, if such a question is posed, someone who is not such a fan of hyperbole will answer with words to the effect of, "Groundspeak has never refused a single cache owner or finder the chance to warn others about possible dangers. In this case, the cache owner offered numerous warnings, and prior finders also posted numerous warnings. Since this young man chose to attempt a cache whose page is full of warnings, we can only speculate that he either ignored the warnings or dismissed them. It is Groundspeak's opinion that, if a person is given numerous warnings regarding a hazard, and that person intentionally continues forward despite those warnings, things could go badly for them."

 

...how was the finder even supposed to SEE that gap?

A flashlight? I know if I'm planning on climbing up into some metal structure which is really high, without a soft area under it, during freezing temperatures, at night, by myself, I'm gonna bring a flashlight as minimum equipment. As I walk along such a treacherous perch, I'm gonna point my flashlight downward, so I can see where my feet are going.

Edited by Clan Riffster

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...how was the finder even supposed to SEE that gap?

A flashlight? I know if I'm planning on climbing up into some metal structure which is really high, without a soft area under it, during freezing temperatures, at night, by myself, I'm gonna bring a flashlight as minimum equipment. As I walk along such a treacherous perch, I'm gonna point my flashlight downward, so I can see where my feet are going.

 

I actually carry at least 2 flashlights when I'm out at night.

 

We don't really know what the ambient lighting conditions were like in the area - the lighting could've been such that even a flashlight might not have assured that he saw the gap (perhaps there was glare from fixed lights nearby - that can ruin your night vision). Or perhaps there was fog or other conditions that affected his vision. I think that even under good conditions, that gap could likely be hard to notice depending on how well dark adapted you were. Under the wrong conditions, that gap could've been VERY difficult to see, particularly since the grating was also black. You might well not see it unless you were looking for it. Unfortunately, the hider didn't bother to mention the gap, so you wouldn't know to look for it.

 

Still, even if the problem is that Willi just wasn't situationally aware, putting a cache with a hazard like that is just bad judgement, especially if you don't warn people about it. Sufficiently bad judgement that I think the hider will be lucky if they don't charge him with manslaughter. At the very least, he should've put some reflective tape at the edge of the gap, so that someone looking at the gap by flashlight would be much more likely to notice it. He could also have wrapped some chain between the railings, partially blocking the gap, hopefully stopping someone if they didn't see the reflective tape. I still assert that suggesting someone do this as a night cache is insanity, but an indication of the hazard that was highly visible at night could have helped. What he actually did was negligent.

 

And you still want to give the hider a pass on this? This cache killed a person. This wasn't some test of physical skill, like rock climbing, this was an accident waiting to happen. Seriously, if the hider avoids criminal prosecution he will be a fortunate person. (BTW, I'm NOT advocating this - I don't see what purpose it would serve, it won't fix anything, and the CO is going to live with this nightmare for the rest of his life.)

 

People need to take responsibility for their hides, particularly something in a dangerous location like this.

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Not to sound insensitive, but people need to take responsibility for their own safety and know their limits. Plain and simple. It shouldn't be up to Groundspeak or a reviewer to decide if a cache is too dangerous or not.

 

Accidents happen, and this is a tragic one. I don't think anything needs to change. There will always be extreme or dangerous caches. It's up to the finders to decide if the reward outweighs the risk.

 

I somewhat agree...

 

But if that was the case with EVERYTHING in life... Then we would have no need for TRAFFIC laws, of any sort, or for that matter any other laws or rules of any type.

 

Depending on your country, state, &/or locality many laws & regulations are put into effect for safety reasons. Not just for others, but for ones own well being as well.

 

Here in the United States there has been a huge move to ban tabacco smoking in public establishments. Ban Cell Phone useage of anytime by drivers in automobiles. Alcohol use, Drug use. Some of us older folk will remember "3 Wheelers". After a bunch of people were killed on those, the USA quickly banned their use, their sale as well as their manufacture & importation.

 

Here in the United States, All alcohol and tabacco products come with a "Surgeon General" warning on the label. Does the labels do any good? No...

 

The thing here is, at least in the United States again. Can't speak for Germany. We have a basic requirment for notification of possible dangers. A Woman sued McDonalds 10+ years ago because SHE was the stupid one & spilled hot coffee in her crotch. McDonalds lost the lawsuit for multi millions of dollars simply BECAUSE they failed to inform her that the coffee was extremely hot. Now look at the drive through windows of ALL McDonalds. There is a sign that says "WARNING: COFFEE EXTREMLY HOT"

 

I agree some caches are very dangerous. One could easily loose their life over trying to get that cache. There is a cache on the top of Mount Everest. MANY have died trying to get to the top of Mount Everest as well.

 

So whats my point????

 

Simply this.... It does NOT matter what the cache's Terrain rating is, It could still be dangerous. IF their are additional risks that someone searching for this cache is unaware of, for whatever reason. Then the cache page SHOULD BE REQUIRED to inform potential cachers of any ADDITIONAL risks that may or may not be obvious when one is aproaching Ground Zero.

 

Again here in the USA... we have TONS of potential warning signs on even simple roads & bridges. Signs that sometimes state the obvious. "There Maybe Ice on the Bridge", "Stop Sign Ahead", "Traffic Signal Ahead", "SLOW... School Zone Ahead" the list goes on.

 

So I do agree... That IF there are additional risks in grabbing the cache that a potential cacher may or may not notice when aproaching the cache, then they should be made aware of those dangers.

 

I can't remember the GC number, but one cache I did find once, had the decency to let us know that getting to the cache would mean crossing boulders that are extra slippery because of the moss & plant growth on the rocks/boulders. When you look at those boulders/rocks. They have NO CLUE that these boulders would be extra slippery. But trust me they are. I was glad that the cache description gave us that warning.

 

Thats my opinion... What Groundspeak does with it is up to them. BTW> I do know of a cacher that was succesfully sued in Texas because of failure to provide proper warnings about his cache. It didn't go to Trial, Cacher settled out of court. But still cost him a chunk of change. Remember even if your in the right, a law suit against you can still cost you money to defend.

 

TGC

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Thats my opinion... What Groundspeak does with it is up to them. BTW> I do know of a cacher that was succesfully sued in Texas because of failure to provide proper warnings about his cache. It didn't go to Trial, Cacher settled out of court. But still cost him a chunk of change. Remember even if your in the right, a law suit against you can still cost you money to defend.

 

TGC

 

That's news to me. As a fellow Texas cacher, I'd like to know the details.... even by PM. :ph34r:

 

This is the type of stuff the community needs to know. :blink::huh:

Edited by Snoogans

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Here in the United States, All alcohol and tabacco products come with a "Surgeon General" warning on the label. Does the labels do any good? No...

 

...

 

So I do agree... That IF there are additional risks in grabbing the cache that a potential cacher may or may not notice when aproaching the cache, then they should be made aware of those dangers.

 

I guess I am having trouble following your logic here. Warnings are ignored, so we should have more warnings on cache pages?

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A Woman sued McDonalds 10+ years ago because SHE was the stupid one & spilled hot coffee in her crotch. McDonalds lost the lawsuit for multi millions of dollars simply BECAUSE they failed to inform her that the coffee was extremely hot. Now look at the drive through windows of ALL McDonalds. There is a sign that says "WARNING: COFFEE EXTREMLY HOT"

Everyone likes to use that case as an example, but very few people seem to be aware that McDonalds was actually the stupid one. Plus, no one actually knows the final outcome of that case because the parties involved ultimately entered into a secret settlement and the details have never been publicly revealed.

 

I do know of a cacher that was succesfully sued in Texas because of failure to provide proper warnings about his cache. It didn't go to Trial, Cacher settled out of court. But still cost him a chunk of change. Remember even if your in the right, a law suit against you can still cost you money to defend.

It is not hard to imagine a wrongful death lawsuit resulting from circumstances similar to what we've been discussing in this thread.

Edited by B+L

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I think you cannot compare cigarette warnings to those proposed here. The warnings posted on cigarette packs are general knowledge - every smoker knows this since these facts are known for a long time. In addition, smoking warnings apply to every cigarette. So smokers don't care about them...

 

In the case of cache warnings, these new proposed warnings are not general warnings for all caches out there. The warnings are cache-specific. Thus, before reading them, you cannot know what the warning content will be for that specific cache you are looking for in the moment.

 

Next thing is, the usual logs are not sufficient enough to post important warnings. No one reads all logs, if someone says this, he is lying. Imagine there are 100 logs and one important warning is 50 logs away: most wouldn't notice even if they read logs. With a special log type this can be different: you scroll down the cache description, you come to the beginning of the logs section, you see: 123 finds, 5 dnf, 10 notes, 3 warnings...

 

3 warnings? Hmm wait, shouldn't I click to see what is in those warnings??? I think I would like to know...

 

If you don't like such a feature, just don't click to see the warnings, just ignore, it's up to everyone. Some might read them...

 

And one key statement is:

 

Some people might still go after it. Others might appreciate the warning and opt to skip it. The world isn't black-and-white; there are plenty of grays and lots of colors, too.

 

It's just wrong to say no one reads cache descriptions, no one reads logs. Most people I know do so. But as stated before, this doesn't mean to see all logs and to get every important information out of them. But if you see there are warnings...

 

And one last point: some said they don't think people would use this feature. This is wrong. There are lot's of cachers out there who do post warnings in their logs, who care about others...

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It is not hard to imagine a wrongful death lawsuit resulting from circumstances similar to what we've been discussing in this thread.

 

It is not hard to imagine manslaughter or reckless endangerment criminal charges resulting from an event like this. If the person who'd died had been a minor child who'd found the listing on gc.com, I think it would be a virtual certainty here in the US. The CO enticed people onto a damaged structure, high above ground, with the suggestion that it be done at night. He had plenty of time to consider "gee, what could go wrong here?" He obviously did not consider this, and the results speak for themselves.

 

How about the following as a rule of thumb for cache owners:

 

If a probable "wow factor" for a seeker of your cache is "Oh wow, I'm dead!", you should not hide that cache.

BTW, I'm not trying to let the finder off the hook here. I am trying to understand what the definition of "reckless behavior" might be in Germany if an example of "level headed behavior" is climbing a structure in unknown condition, alone and in darkness in order to play a game. There was obviously a lot of poor judgement on all sides in this tragic situation.

 

As far as "what needs to change", I think the obvious answer is people's attitudes about safety. Some people don't like this and don't want to admit to it, but the mindset that lead two probably otherwise rational and intelligent people into this situation needs to change some.

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...how was the finder even supposed to SEE that gap?

A flashlight? I know if I'm planning on climbing up into some metal structure which is really high, without a soft area under it, during freezing temperatures, at night, by myself, I'm gonna bring a flashlight as minimum equipment. As I walk along such a treacherous perch, I'm gonna point my flashlight downward, so I can see where my feet are going.

 

Cachers were advised to do it at night so they would not be noticed, due to it being illegal.

 

A flashlight would certainly attract attention.

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I think it IS easy to take action - an new log type is a few programmer hours for Groundspeak. A special section in every cache might be a bit more.

I wanted to point out that nothing's that easy. Any change in log types or sections of a cache description would affect the Groundspeak Extensions to the GPX format protocol. Without lots of advance notice, making such a change could cause problems for third party programs, third party mobile applications, and GPS Units. Look at the pinned thread in the announcements forum and read the discussion of the changes that are already in the pipeline. (Example: adding a "nano" cache size.)

 

You would need to make a case for why a special log type would make a difference in a world where cache attributes are available but often ignored or misused, where both "Needs Archived" and "Needs Maintenance" log types exist but are misused, and for why a special section would make a difference over the free form cache description, in order to justify making a change to how Geocaching.com data is ingested by the rest of the tech world.

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@Keystone: I just noticed that you closed my feature request, on the grounds of me not summarizing the feature in the first post, but rather linking to this thread. I apologize for not following the exactly correct protocol. At the same time I am disappointed that you post here about the idea and use your moderator powers to simply close the feature request rather than giving me a chance to edit it and add a couple of sentences at the beginning (to me the title is abundantly clear anyway). Or doing so yourself - that's what moderators are for.

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=287312

 

All in all I think I've given those who read this thread and Groundspeak as an entity as much information about the case as possible and made it abundantly clear that a simple change on the website like a logtype "Warning" could start to change the safety culture and maybe have saved Willi's life. I'm glad that other ideas are coming out of this thread - I also agree that COs should be educated, most likely with a mass mail from Groundspeak, to again think about dangers that might lurk with their cache and add extra warnings.

 

However, I am tired to discuss nonsense arguments like "nobody reads warnings", "he should have taken a flashlight", "attributes are enough/the same as specific warnings", "it's only the COs responsability", "people can already post warnings in logs and that's enough" or who is liable or can or cannot be sued in this country or that.

 

I like texasgrillchef's analogy to driving: even though we know that driving is inherently dangerous, we still post traffic signs just before specific dangerous areas. Since geocaching is a hobby and many COs might not have much training in safety (or even be aware of all dangers) we cannot expect them to do all the signposting themselves. We can do a better job together as a community. Groundspeak might not have thought of this possibility of letting us post warning signs ourselves (again, each and every one of us, not just the COs), but if this is not implemented quickly after these events it's negligent and I will be the first to point any family members, media or whoever else is asking after the next cacher got hurt to this thread. It's time to act.

Edited by veit

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Very sad. My heart goes out to the willimax family.

 

Considering caching safety in general: I am of the view that the more information which is given, the better. I don’t subscribe to the view that a warning is useless because not everyone will read it, or because some will ignore it.

 

I generally do read the cache page – especially for those with higher terrain or difficulty ratings. And if I see something that tells me “this cache looks to dangerous for me” I don’t try and find it.

When looking for a cache, obviously judgement needs to come into play as well. And again looking at myself, I have turned back when caching when I felt it was too dangerous for me. But – when caching, adrenalin tends to kick in. I find it easier to make a sound judgement from the comfort of home than when out on the trail. Or even if I do decide to try and find a cache in spite of the warnings, I am more prepared. More information is only a good thing in my view.

 

Nobody can say for sure if clearer warnings would have saved this poor young man’s life. But just maybe; they could have.

 

Lastly, I’ll state something obvious. It is the unexpected which creates the most danger. A cache which involves high difficulty climbing of cliffs is dangerous for most; but far less so for those who have the right equipment and training. E.g. The Hardest Cache on Table Mountain. A cache like the one in question, where the dangers are less obvious, is far more dangerous.

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Posters of needs archived logs are often treated in a nasty way - one might reconsider it several times before posting a needs archived log for a cache that certain groups find very cool and that got approved. For example, I recall the following cache where a cacher from Vienna became aware of a problem cache via the detour of a German cacher forum. He then dared to post a needs archive log, but received many insulting reactions, many more than can be seen in the log section

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=bb094c3b-0f2d-4ffc-83d1-527e9e458288

Even terms like GECAPO (for secret geocaching police - with some intended link to GESTAPO) are used for cachers who write needs archived logs for the beloved caches of others.

One also can send a private email to the local reviewer explaining why a cache should be archived.

 

Yes, one can. I know several reviewers, however, who insist on getting a needs archived log and do not want to take action on the basis of a private mail. In my country all reviewers are known in person - none of them has a hidden identity and they are all part of the local community. This has been different back in the times when Erik has reviewed the Austrian caches. While I earlier thought that a second identity for reviewers is not necessary, I have changed my mind meanwhile and think that this approach has some advantages.

 

What really needs to change is, however, the attitude of the big parts of the community in countries like Germany and Austria. There are some changes on the way, all brought along by accidents, security alarms, fines someone had to pay etc, but these changes are still not going far enough.

There are still too many cachers who think that it is very cool and adds a special touch to geocaching to get involved into forbidden and adventurous actions. Sometimes I think that for some even the thrill of not getting caught also plays a role. I know many cachers who feel that if such caches go away, the best of geocaching is going away.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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And one last point: some said they don't think people would use this feature. This is wrong. There are lot's of cachers out there who do post warnings in their logs, who care about others...

 

I just made the comment that the logs for the cache where Willi died did not include any serious warning. So I do not believe that in the case of this cache an existing section on warnings would have made any difference, not even for those reading every single log. It could make some difference for other caches in case the cache owner is not reacting in a responsible way (otherwise, any warning from a log could be inserted to the top of the cache listing anyway).

 

Moreover, I think that quite a number of warnings will be in conflict with the interest of some cache hiders to have a really challenging cache. So suppose someone writes: Take care the branch in 5m height is not very strong. This then lets others conclude that the cache is higher up and there are owners who do not wish that such informations are given.

So by introducing a section over which the cache owner does not have control, will certainly lead to debates among cachers and Groundspeak will get involved and apart from the technical issues this will likely them to reject a new feature along the proposed lines. Using NM logs for serious warnings is, however, something we still can do and where no involvement of Groundspeak is necessary.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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@Keystone: I just noticed that you closed my feature request, on the grounds of me not summarizing the feature in the first post, but rather linking to this thread. I apologize for not following the exactly correct protocol. At the same time I am disappointed that you post here about the idea and use your moderator powers to simply close the feature request rather than giving me a chance to edit it and add a couple of sentences at the beginning (to me the title is abundantly clear anyway). Or doing so yourself - that's what moderators are for.

You may have missed the part where I invited you to open a new thread in the Feature Requests forum, in which you actually described what you were asking for instead of linking to this thread. Groundspeak's development engineers are not going to read this thread. What you are trying to achieve is to have Moun10Bike (the Lackey who monitors the Request Forum) turn your idea into a "user story" that is submitted in the developers' database.

 

The title of your closed thread is not "abundantly clear," at least not to me. It talks about preventing a tragic death. That sort of tone is not needed in the Feature Request forum. Words like "new log type" are.

 

Lastly, I do not rewrite feature requests as part of my moderator role, though I do fix title formatting, merge duplicate threads, etc. I especially would not rewrite a feature request if I did not understand the details. So, once again, I encourage you to do so.

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