tstormdiver - 10/13/2010 3:15 AM
When I write this, I mean no disrespect for the decesed,it was certainly a tragedy. I have read on several boards that have pointed out that some of the main "rules" of cave diving were broken by the buddy pair. 1. is exceeding their training. Both divers were "Intro to Cave" level divers. This level limits the diver to 1/3 of their air supply in a single tank or 1/6 in doubles & also limits the divers to staying on the main guideline (no navigation off the main line). 2.This buddy team decided to take 1 of the main tunnels, then "jump" to a crossover tunnel that runs between the main tunnel & another main tunnel that parallels it back to the main entrance; thus doing navigation off the main line. 3.The pair also did what is called a "visual jump" meaning they did not run a reel between the main lines & the crossover tunnel’s line to maintain a constant guideline to the surface. Even with very experienced divers, there is lots of controversy about doing visual jumps. I have done this exact path the dive team was trying, as an "Intro" diver working on my Full Cave Diver certification, under the supervision of my instructor. My air consumption isn’t the best, but its not horrible either. Just to make both jumps to complete the circuit, takes 1/3 of my air supply (max gas consumption that full cave divers are allowed to use to penetrate). I would hazard a guess, since they were wearing double cylinders, that unless they had absolute stellar air consumption rates, there is no real way they could have done this on 1/6th’s. Already here are 3 basic rules of cave diving broken 1. Diving beyond one’s training, 2. no continuous guideline & 3. monitoring one’s gas supply. No one may ever know what started the cascading events that caused this accident, but it sure seems likely that breaking these rules certainly sealed the divers demise. The one thing that learning to cave dive has done is to teach me the proper respect for that environment. Basically, if you screw up,.... you will likely die. Please forgive me if this seems harsh, but it is a harsh environment.