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Friday, June 07, 2013

Safety Tips For Cave Divers

Cave diving is considered a relatively recent phenomenon. Not much mention is made of it prior to 1935 when an informal cave diving group was established. The purpose of the group at the time was to organize the training of personnel in the use of equipment to be used for accessing and exploring flooded caves. One Jacques-Yves Cousteau is acknowledged as the world’s first cave diver, making use of scuba gear in the process. Incidentally he is the co-inventor of said scuba diving gear.The sports of caving and diving each have attendant risks and this is even more so as it relates to cave diving. It could in fact be argued that this is potentially among the most dangerous of sports in existence
While there are dangers associated with the sport of cave diving the risk of undesirable occurrences can be greatly reduced by following established, tried and tested cave diving safety protocol. In an effort to minimize accidents there are simple yet effective steps one can take.
1. Grab the correct equipment. Cave diving and open water diving use different types of equipment. Procure equipment from reputable cave diving shops. You can definitely make use of your creativity and improvise some of the gadgets just to make sure you have the right tools for the activity.
2. Multiple lighting devices. Cave diving is in a world of total darkness. Without sufficient light support you could easily lose your way in the underwater caverns even if there are guidelines. Make sure to bring multiple reserved sources of light; three to four pieces of lighting equipment is good.
3. Presence of mind. Even before getting into the underground water, try to visualize the passages underneath the cave. Anticipating the directions will save energy and air.
4. Mind your guideline. Avoid getting tangled on the safety guideline because this is your main indicator for direction. If it snaps, you could lose your bearings and you will be underwater for a longer time.
5. Keep dangling stuff away. While swimming through narrow and sharp underwater passageways, things dangling from your body can get you stuck on tight underwater chambers. Any hanging trinkets could become serious trouble that will restrict your movement.
6. Check your air constantly. With open water diving, you can easily surface out of the water if you ran out of oxygen. But for cave diving, it is simply impossible so make sure that you have enough air–the rule says at least two thirds-for your way out.
7. Don’t panic. Under difficult and emergency circumstances take control of yourself and avoid panicking. You can easily get disoriented and things can go from bad to worst if you are overwhelmed with fear.
8. Lastly, nothing beats good training and preparation. Cave diving is such a unique activity that it will need formal training to keep you safe. Attend classes from reputable and certified cave diving schools. Don’t gamble with your life by breaking the limits of what you have learned.
Cave diving is different from open water diving because the latter offers a better chance of survival when something goes wrong. Safe cave diving requires, above all, fitness of both mind and body. Abiding by the above tips will definitely increase your safety.
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