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Lesson learned yesterday,,,, Be careful out there !!

Tony AZ

Active Member
Jun 30, 2016
So i'm kinda new to bottle digging I've only did it about 10 times w/ limited success...a few things i know like -Don't dig by yourself-- actually have broken this rule a few times-- yesterday being one of those days...:( So yesterday i decided to go do some sifting at an old Railroad site.. Alone ----but felt confident of my ability to return home afterwards...

I tried sifting for an hour and a half w/ nothing to show for my efforts, so i took a break ate some food and just walked around a bit.. I noticed a low spot and after break returned w/ shovel in hand.....Started digging and found some glass and cans at about 1.5 feet deep... Hmmmmmm''' the area i had been sifting was only about 6in deep.. I keep digging not too exciting could have already been disturbed by someone else.. not really finding a trash layer. I keep digging- it bottomed out at 3 ft... so i start searching the sides - one side definitely has a trash layer, so i start scraping away. found 4 bottles all damaged or broken-- but encouraging.. So this is where things get exciting... I've probably dug about 2 ft back into the side of my hole.. theirs about 8-10 inches of dirt above my arm-- when it caves in on my arm------totally unexpected....No big deal as this has happened before... Except this time when i try to remove my arm I CAN'T MOVE IT !! What??? So with my left arm i start to dig for my right arm--- I immediately see the problem-- A large rock that was totally hidden has fallen on my arm !! So as i start to totally uncover this rock - i realize how big it really is ... I try to grab it with my left hand --its too thick to really get a hold of it-- I make a couple of attempts to move it--- it doesn't move at all.. tried to pull my arm out again --nothing.. My arm is starting to hurt now..I try digging around my arm w/ my left hand seems too slow--- arm and hand hurting now---- I look around me and see my shovel-- I reach for it ---Just out of reach !! OMG !!! I look around again and i see a rusted out can-- I grab the can and use the can try to reach the shovel handle-- first attempt--- was poss a little panicked and actually pushed the shovel a little further away !! Second attempt tried to calm down and stretched as far as i could and moved it a little closer.. I finally got a hold of the handle-- after 3 or four stabs i was able to get the shovel under the edge of this rock and pry it up to remove my right arm !!! LESSON LEARNED TODAY--DON'T DIG ALONE !! Be Safe Out There------- and Good Luck!!! Tony AZ..


Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2018
Connellsville, PA
Thank you for sharing your story. I'm glad you are okay! The key is to never panic in any situation like that. Because most of the time a solution is always nearby, just like you happened to find one. I focus most of my bottle hunting efforts on things that I don't have to dig for much. But something could go wrong no matter what. I worry most about the hazard of broken glass!

Tony AZ

Active Member
Jun 30, 2016
There luckily was very little glass here unlike other areas i have dug... Rock could have pushed my arm into some glass and cut a artery !!! I was very lucky..


Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2006
Reminds of the time I was at the very bottom of a 7 foot deep Privy. All crouched down on my knees digging with a little hand digger into bottom floor pulling out 1870's stuff, all excited wondering whats next. BUT, Then I look up & see this daylight way up high above me & it's the little hole I climbed down threw to get where I was. And I thought, hmmmmmmmm, What if these walls collapsed & cave in on me. I'm here all alone, Nobody would find me & I just dug my own grave. I had a real eerie creepy feeling come over me & I suddenly decided to vacate my hole. Only to find 2 Mexican Punks pounding on my Door Glass Window with a Brick trying to break into my Truck. Luckily I was able to scare them off with my Probe & Shovel. This was in Detroit in Mexican Gang Territory, Latin Counts. I guess if my hole didn't Collapse on me I could of got shot & robbed in my Hole. Dug my grave again. SO, Good Advice, Don't Dig Alone. I still do though, I did today after work where they tore a House down. LEON.


Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2019
New York
I would go and dig on a Saturday afternoon after putting in a half day at work. I would bring a change of clothes and change in the car at the dig site. One day I had a 6 Foot hole going and the bottles were popping out and placed around the top of the hole. As I was digging away some dirt started coming into the hole. When I looked up I saw 2 sets of Black shinny shoes at eye level. 2 NYC Cops were standing looking at me in the hole. "Buddy is that your car over there?" YES … 'Whose clothes are those in the back seat?" MINE " Why?" I'M DIGGING FOR BOTTLES. Bottom line...….. they thought I was burying a Body and after a lot of explaining they GOT IT.

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