Not the Most Dangerous Sport

By Natalie Gibb

Photo: Natalie Gibb

Not all caves are claustrophobic or extremely technological. If “youve had” seen beautiful images of underwater caves and think they look astounding, but are unsure about the riskiness of the athletic, this article is for you.A

Although diving in flooded caves is exciting, the correct mindset should be one of precision and controlathe polar opposite of adrenaline and exhilaration. Once basic skills are mastered, cave diving is 95% a mental activity. Good judgment, the ability to create a clear dive scheme, and methodical control during the execution of that scheme are some of the most important attributes of a safe cave diver. In a inundated cave, a diver should be completely calmathe moment she is not, itas time to turn around for the day. In fact, the ability to assess oneas convenience, and the willingness to end of a dive when uncomfortable, are some of the things I evaluate in my students before issuing a cave diver certificationapushy divers donat pass. Proper cave educate helps divers to achieve a calm mind state while performing to a high level, and some students have mentioned that this training has helped them in other aspects of their lives.A

Good judgment can prevent every major cause of cave diving demises. Accident analysis reveals that nearly all cave fatalities have resulted from at least one( and usually a combination of) the following factors:( 1) diving beyond training and experience level,( 2) diving deep,( 3) failure to maintain a continuous guideline to the open water,( 4) mismanagement of breathing gas,( 5) failure to confirm that all gear is functioning perfectly in the water before the dive and failure to carry an adequate redundancy of all vital life support equipment, and( 6) distraction through camera employ. In every one of these cases, the issue causing the fatality was created by a deliberate choice that the diver made to break safe cave diving procedures. If you have the ability to judge what is safe and the mental fortitude to refuse to enter an unsafe cave diving situation in the first placeadespite occasional peer pressureathere is no reason that cave diving should be risky. Safety in cave diving is a result of the choices a diver makes.A

I genuinely is confident that any diver who wants to put in the effort to become a cave diver is capable of doing so, but the path wonat be easy or fast for all divers. Nor should it be. It is essential to become adept with each new set of abilities before moving on to the next. Until a diver is perfectly comfy in his technological gear and basic skills, there is no point of continuing into basic overhead training. Until a diver is proficient at the first level of cave diving, there is no point in moving forward to the next. To become a solid cave diver, plan to enroll in courses with significant violates in between for practice, you will be a better cave diver for it! A No one wants to be an aokaya cave diver; be excellent or donat go into the cave.

Cave training is likely to be the most meticulous and difficult diving course you will ever take, and itas normal to be a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information and requirements at the beginning. Give yourself time to learn and master the skills, and cut yourself some slack at the start. You wonat start out training as an excellent cave diveraI certainly didnat!

Becoming a cave diver is an attainable aim, only focus on small steps and take your time. Good cave training programs are broken into stages, resembling but not always identical to the following 😛 TAGEND

BasicA DoublesA Skills

Whether your choose to do your cave training in backmounted or in sidemounted doublings, you will need have basic skills in the configuration of your choice. This includes the ability comfortably hover motionless, mastery of kicking techniques, and proficiency with emergency management procedures such as valve shut downs and long-hose air sharing. Cave training involves mastery of these skills to a higher level than required in most open-water or technical courses, so expect a ability evaluation and refinement by your cave instructor even if you come into the course with sidemount or backmount experience.

EntryA LevelA OverheadA Training

Most programs begins with a Cavern Diver, or Cave 1 certification, which introduces abilities such as line following, map read, simple navigation, reel work, dive planning, and basic emergency abilities. In an ideal world, itas best to stop at this level and gain a little experience by independently diving with a buddy who is similarly certified. In Mexico where I work, sadly, there are not many places where divers can independently cavern dive, so you might need to move towards Intro to Cave Certification and then gain experience independently diving with a buddy. Itas best to get a minimum of 25 dives at your current level before moving on to the next.A

FullA CaveA DiverA Training

Follow up your entry-level course after gaining experience with a Full Cave or Cave 2. The abilities introduced in these courses vary a bit by organization, but expect more advanced navigation, regulation practice, and potentially more advanced deco planning. After this level, divers will be ready to go out and dive most caves that are open to the public. Divers should not rush into advanced cave educate, stage diving, or DPV diving before gaining a significant amount of experience at this level. Thereas no need! You can dive the rest of your life as a full cave diver and not run out of dives.

Depending upon the location you choose to dive, it may be necessary to enroll in advanced nitrox and decompression procedures in order to be certified to do light deco. This is less of a concern in Mexico, and a much greater concern in Florida and other locations with deeper caves. While decompression certification is not a requirement for all developing bureaux, a working knowledge of decompression theory, regardless of cert card, is essential for safe cave diving.A

Cave divers are just regular divers who fallen in love in the caves and invested the significant amount of hour and effort to be able to dive them comfortably. If you have seen images of flooded caves and feel drawn towards them, or if you want to float effortlessly in what feels like a different dimension altogether, you should go for it! A good first step may be to go on a guided cenote or cave dive and see how you feel in the environment. This is also a good way to evaluate potential instructors or shops to decide with whom you want to train. But I warn you, that first cavern dive can lead to a lifelong addition.A

Natalie GibbA Is a full cave instructor, explorer, and researcher based in Mexicoas Riviera Maya. She is a published writer, international speaker, and cave conservationist. Visit: Under The Jungle

The post Not the Most Dangerous Sport appeared first on DIVER magazine.

Read more:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *