updated 2/14/2011 1:31:13 PM ET 2011-02-14T18:31:13

Two college students have died in a Georgia cave after rappelling into a waterfall and getting stuck under the frigid water.

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Authorities in the north Georgia mountains say the two men from the University of Florida apparently died of hypothermia. It took rescuers more than eight hours Saturday to retrieve their bodies from a depth of about 100 feet.

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson named the men as 20-year-old Grant Lockenbach and 18-year-old Michael Pirie.

Authorities say they were among 10 students from Gainesville, Fla., who went exploring in Ellison's Cave on Saturday.

Witnesses told officials that someone dropped a bag down a pit. They say Lockenbach rappelled down to retrieve the bag but got tangled in his ropes. They say Pirie went down to help but also got stuck.


Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Cave expedition ends in tragedy


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