Diving Accidents

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Diving Accidents

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 2, 2013 9:45 pm

I've just finished reading 16 years worth of ACA, and had some questions about diving fatalities. It seems (to someone who knows nothing about diving) that while diving is inherently much more dangerous than dry caving, there are still a disproportionate number of deaths. So many of the deaths seem preventable, and the safety measures involved seem so vital that ignoring them seems suicidal. Most accidents seem to result from not using a line or running out of air. To me that sounds like going caving without a light or rigging a 200' pit with an 80' rope. Is that a ridiculous misunderstanding of the situation? Are divers more reckless than cavers or is their environment so unforgiving that no mistakes in judgement or equipmental mishaps are survivable? Or are there phsycological factors that explain the otherwise illogical procession of some events. Some accounts are truly mystifying.
Anyway, if any of you with diving experience can help to clarify a bit, I'm interested. I won't be adding diving to my list of pursuits any time soon, but I want to better understand the nature of things in case the time ever comes...that I grow out of my aquaphobic cowardice.
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Re: Diving Accidents

Postby FW » Jan 3, 2013 10:07 am

Most of the cave diving accidents in ACA are not cave divers. They are open water divers that wandered into a cave. It is similar to "dry" caving accidents that involve kids wearing tennis shoes, and only carrying one flashlight.

Cave divers have analyzed accidents for around 40 years, and came up with a set of "rules" that make cave diving relatively safe, if they are followed.

1. Be trained in cave diving.
2, Have a continuous guideline to the exit.
3. Reserve 2/3 of your initial gas (air) supply to exit.
4. Don't dive deeper than your gas supply is intended for.
5. Have at least three lights per diver.
Any opinions are personal.
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Re: Diving Accidents

Postby bennettbike » Jan 14, 2015 4:41 pm

I imagine you use heck of a thick guide to the exit? Do you tie a rope to a tree?

To the poster above, does the exit line ever get cut?

I did read a story when the ceiling fell in new passage on upon exiting his rope went into a dirt wall, he dug himself free...

I dive and i know that would make me shit.
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Re: Diving Accidents

Postby Squirrel Girl » Jan 14, 2015 5:47 pm

bennettbike wrote:I imagine you use heck of a thick guide to the exit? Do you tie a rope to a tree?

To the poster above, does the exit line ever get cut?

I did read a story when the ceiling fell in new passage on upon exiting his rope went into a dirt wall, he dug himself free...

I dive and i know that would make me shit.


No, you don't use a rope. Just a thin, nylon guideline. If the line is too thick, it's hard to carry too much on a reel and get very far. It can get cut, abraded, or otherwise damaged. It doesn't happen often, but cave divers are trained to fix lines and to have safety reels, just in case.
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Re: Diving Accidents

Postby Squirrel Girl » Jan 14, 2015 5:49 pm

GroundquestMSA wrote:I've just finished reading 16 years worth of ACA, and had some questions about diving fatalities. It seems (to someone who knows nothing about diving) that while diving is inherently much more dangerous than dry caving, there are still a disproportionate number of deaths.
It's really hard to conduct a rescue before it becomes "too late." There are many dry cave rescues.

Edd Sorenson, with support from his shop crew, has bizarrely saved several people in the caves of Merritt's Mill Pond in Florida over the past couple of years.
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