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Sunday, June 02, 2013

SCIENTIFIC CAVE DIVERS from the EARLY 1970's

Speleology
 
Speleology is the science of exploring and studying caves and their shape, origin, development and microclimate. It concerns other branches of underwater procedures such as archeology, geology and biology. Gathering data about underwater caves helps for determining the effects of pollution and observing the ecology of cave systems.
 

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Scientific cave divers need special training and equipment. Cave diving is certainly more difficult than other types of diving. Divers are confronted with specific problems when entering the cave. Above all, they are in a confined place which robs them of the possibility to ascend straight to the surface in a case of accident. Cavers might even lose their way in some of the cave’s branching. Their lives depend on the good working order of their equipment and the immediate help of their buddies. The air-supply should be sufficient not only for the planned stay in the cave and time for decompression but also for possible accidents. It might be necessary that two divers breathe from a single apparatus. A crucial part of the equipment is the inflating life-jacket. Its purpose is to regulate diver’s buoyancy and keep it neutral. Otherwise, bad balance might lead to muddling of water and loss of visibility.  There are cases of death in which experienced divers are the victims. In 1972, two qualified cave divers entered a cave. They were only in the beginning of the cave passage when they suddenly realized that they had left some instrument for work on the surface. They decided one of them to stay and wait until the other got back. After 5 minutes the diver returned and found his buddy dead (he was enmeshed in a nylon rope).
 
In the picture above, you see divers before entering the cave “Peacock”. The cave is notorious for its cases of death – 17 for the period 1970-1973. There is a Warning sign nearby. The dive was successful.
 
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