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1 in 14 Cave divers die???????

Discussion in 'Cave Diving' started by octgal, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. Meng_Tze

    Meng_Tze Homo Bonae Voluntatis ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: 246 Bubbleless Cove
    2,309
    5
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    What also counts here I think is. Less untrained divers go into caves nowadays (maybe increased awareness of the dangers, the STOP signs etc) so it now looks that more and more accidents are to do with trained cave divers. But maybe in actuality the ratio of trained vs. non trained has shifted, so that percentage wise it now seems that more trained cavers are getting hurt?

    Bottom line is, you are FAR more likely to get hurt doing something dangerous if you are unaware of the dangers, of how to fix/handle situations etc. than when you are trained. This of course leaves out the 'Force Majeur' (acts of God). Since when your time is up, its up. It does not matter where you are, in bed or in a cave.

    I would be interested to see how many accidents do happen without accounting for 'Force Majeur'.........trained vs non trained.... I think that would be a fair comparison.
     
  2. devolution365

    devolution365 Barracuda

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    Here's a quote from an article on cavedivers.com:

    "Since 1960, over 500 divers have died in caves in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean which averages out to around 11 deaths per annum, although one would suspect that many more occurred in the early days of the sport before good training and equipment advances were established. As the denominator is not known, a percentage risk cannot be given."


    -That's the biggest problem with trying to find a mortality rate for cave diving. Unless all cave dives are logged, no one will ever be able to say what the mortality rate is. One website says there are over 25,000 divers currently certified for cave diving. -I'm no satistics whiz, but 500 deaths since 1960 divided by 25,000 certified cave divers is 0.02% chance of death. Consider many people diving in caves (and dying in caves) aren't certified, and the chances get lower and lower (especially if you ARE certified)...

    <<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>>

    Good article on cave diving deaths:
    http://www.cdnn.info/safety/s040630/s040630.html
    It says that it used to be that most deaths were caused by lack of training, that most of the deceased were not certified to dive in caves. Recently, however, they note an increase in certified and veteran cave diver deaths, which they attribute to complacency.

    <<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>>

    For those who like numbers, pie charts, and the like:
    Old data gathered from Florida death certificates (1960's, before there were specific certifications for cave diving, but): http://www.safecavediving.com/history/seminar01/figure2.jpg
    (The rest of the article, with more charts is here)

    <<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>>

    Summary:
    I have caved a few times on land and I know just how disorienting it can be. I also know that I don't have enough scuba experience to attempt diving in an overhead environment at this time. I've read about the training one goes through for cave diving, and if ALL of the proceedures are followed, all of the equipment had (including a buddy!), and you are comfortable in the environment (don't push your limits!) research shows that the sport can be pretty safe. -In the end, it's up to each person as an individual to decide whether or not they take the risk.
     
  3. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
    9,106
    344
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    are incorrect :D

    For those who say that there is only ONE death that can not be attributed to NOT following the rules, one must than ask, how many rules are there, who's rules is one following, and do you add a new rule upon a death?

    I don't cave dive, and have no interest in learning. My perception is that one must Always follow some basic rules in scuba, or death can result. However mistakes are going to get made. So the question becomes, how many mistakes can one make before the diving becomes deadly?

    With cave diving, the answer is sometimes ZERO. The fact that some of the world's most renown and respected cave divers have died in caves (and more than just a couple) indicates that even with proper training, certification, and experinece, this is a dangerous activity, and the chances of dying while diving are MUCH greater vs. most other forms of non-overhead diving.
     
  4. pdoege

    pdoege Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Orlando, FL
    979
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    16
    5 rules, established by Sheck Exley in "Basic Cave Diving: A Blueprint for Survival"

    Training - Have the training necessary to do the dive
    Guideline - Always have a continuous guideline to the surface
    Air - Always reserve 2/3rds of your gas supply for emergencies
    Depth - Obey depth limits imposed by gasses, deco, training, etc.
    Light - Always have at least 2 backup sources of light

    I believe that the NSS-CDS has a rule prohibiting solo cave diving.

    New rules are not added after every death. These rules cover most of the deaths that I am aware of. The only exceptions are acute medical conditions and, very rarely, collapse of the cave.

    For more info you can search for TGADL.

    For accident info you can go to http://www.iucrr.org

    Peter
     
  5. WetDawg

    WetDawg Captain

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ft. Laud / Miami, FL
    343
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    Didn't Sheck Exley, the guy who wrote the blueprint for survival, himself die while attemping to break his own deep cave record at something close to 1000 ft while solo?
     
  6. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
    8,872
    1,004
    113
    I was referring to the rules pdoege already posted. pdoege covers it quite well. Those are the rules. They have been since the 70s. They've been slightly revised since, but the basics are the same. Instead of lights, it's equipment now, for example.

    By the way, does your statistic of "85% statistics are incorrect" fall into the 85% or the 15% side? :D
     
  7. JeffG

    JeffG Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta
    10,016
    87
    48
    Yes
     
  8. pants!

    pants! Manta Ray

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    Which of those 5 did he violate?
     
  9. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
    8,872
    1,004
    113
    Like Jeff said, yes. And he broke one of his own rules in so doing - the depth rule. But he also had 1000s of cave dives and was always breaking records, so he was allowed to break the rules. After all, he came up with them. :D

    He also did a deep dive in which his watch imploded and he had to count the seconds to complete his deco stops until he could get to his other watch which was tied off at around 400'. How many people can do that?

    Was he right in breaking the rules? That's a tough one. I have a lot of respect for him, so I can't help but be biased. He was always testing the limits, though.
     
  10. JeffG

    JeffG Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta
    10,016
    87
    48
    Depth rule??? If anything, it would of been the AIR rule IIRC.
     

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