• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Devils Den Info?

Discussion in 'Cave Diving' started by Carl_F, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Carl_F

    Carl_F Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seneca, SC
    303
    154
    43
    A previous student of mine (various SSI specialties, cavern not included) posted about some diving he did in a "cave" at Devil's Den recently. The pics clearly show single Al80, no redundancy. But I've never been to Devil's Den so can't say for sure if he was in a cave zone or cavern zone or what is allowed at Devil's Den. Their website site says "Absolutely no cave entry" so I suspect it's cavern zone only. I'm not going to get on his case electronically so will wait for his return to try some coaching about his safety but I'd like to have a better understanding of Devil's Den, standard practices there and the like so my discussion with him is not based on assumptions.

    Feel free to DM if that feels like the most appropriate way to respond.

    I'm OWSI and RAID Cave 2 so I know what to coach if I have a good understanding of the site.

    Thanks!
     
    loosenit2 likes this.
  2. Doby45

    Doby45 Do I have something in my teeth?

    1,831
    1,070
    113
    It is a "cavern" where the owners allow OW divers.
     
    Carl_F likes this.
  3. homerdoc

    homerdoc Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: South Carolina
    125
    108
    43
    all the "caves" are blocked off with rebar and signs with don't go there. There are some pretty cool swim throughs. Back in the day, I was comfortable with my 11 year old daughter going around the bottom of it.

    Ginnie springs ballroom is more of a "cave"
     
    Carl_F likes this.
  4. Carl_F

    Carl_F Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seneca, SC
    303
    154
    43
    Thanks! That helps and I can tie similar wreck dives (e.g. Kittiwake) into the discussion about the overhead environment and what to look out for in doing an accurate risk assessment.
     
  5. homerdoc

    homerdoc Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: South Carolina
    125
    108
    43
    I'll just say it is biblically bad **** you are checking up and care. Good on you.
     
    Carl_F likes this.
  6. BrackaFish

    BrackaFish Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Port Orange Fl
    87
    147
    33
    Devils Den is a collapsed sinkhole that is used by many different groups for training. It is used by our LDS for both final checkout dives by O/W students and by night/limited visibility students. It is a low flow system with silt on the walls and most of the bottom and once the place fills up the visibility tends to fall. Visibility is usually twenty feet or less on the weekends and slightly better during the week when not so crowded. The area is bell shaped and with the current high water levels, the training platforms are partially covered with overhead. Maximum depth is around 60 feet. As mentioned by homerdoc, there are some nice swim throughs usually about 10-15 in length. Below are a few photos taken by NFLFan92 during a recent trip.

    upload_2019-11-5_6-40-54.jpeg

    upload_2019-11-5_6-42-17.jpeg

    upload_2019-11-5_6-43-55.jpeg

    upload_2019-11-5_6-45-1.jpeg

    Hope these help and as noted by homerdoc, kudos for looking after your former student. It sounds like he has a good mentor. If you have any other questions about the place, feel free to PM me. Safe diving
     
    Carl_F likes this.
  7. Caveeagle

    Caveeagle Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: High Springs, FL
    1,537
    1,034
    113
    Thanks to the OP of checking in on a former student. I see open water divers doing very dangerous things here in our springs and caverns all the time.

    Devils Den is just one of several locations where open water divers are permitted to dive i a cavern/overhead environment that is potentially dangerous. Even In a place like the Ginnie ‘Ball room’, you could easily get into serious trouble when you are 50’ deep and 60’ back in the cavern/overhead. At least in the ballroom, there is virtually no silt, and it would be pretty hard to get lost. But even in that place, an OOA situation could be disastrous to an unprepared diver.
    Just because an OW diver is not “prohibited”, doesn’t make it a great idea! Not to long ago, I witnessed an Open Water diver down near the grate in the Ginnie Ball Room, with a tag along snorkeler breathing off his octo, and with only one small light that I could see. For those that don’t know, this is around 50’ deep, and over 60’ swim away from a clear surface ascent.

    For those who think this is an overreaction. There are at least two incidents and three fatalities of open water (non cave trained) divers at the nearby Manatee Springs. One case was back in the late 90s when an OW instructor decided to take a newly certified OW student Into the Catfish Hotel cavern. Both perished within feet of the exit, that they could not see once they had stirred up the silt.

    Here is thread to another more recent case..

    Diver deceased at Manatee Springs, 2/19?

    *just for clarity, my comments are not intended to say that OW divers cannot dive safely in these environments. Only that, in many cases, they are not even aware of the significant dangers ‘just around the corner’.
    I appreciate any diving instructor who tries to warn current and former students to be careful!
     
    Carl_F likes this.
  8. greeniguana

    greeniguana Nassau Grouper

    76
    65
    18
    I have dove Devils Den without a flashlight before. I've never been able to find any place where you can't see daylight. Even during peak wet season, I've never got more than 54' deep. They have a massive halogen light on the ceiling supplementing what comes through the hole. Once your eyes adjust, even the swim throughs are dimly lit.

    And there are always a billion other people swimming around in there shining flashlights in your eyes. You can pick one and follow them through a swim through if you need a better view.....
     
  9. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    56,341
    24,086
    113
    I have dove the site on multiple occasions. Much of it's OW, but some of it's a cavern and yes, you can inadvertently enter into a cave area. My first time there, I found myself on the wrong side of the fence. Dangerous? I could have been more careful. Hard to really silt things out in there. However, I wouldn't dive in there again until I had earned my cavern cert.
     
    Carl_F likes this.
  10. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    15,945
    7,306
    113
    I will say that there are definitely some areas that are not blocked off that are not "Swim thrus" and are certainly what I would consider a cave passage. They don't go terribly far, but they are small and long enough that if you aren't prepared, you are effed if you get too far back there *. I certainly didn't go back there since cave diving, canister lights, lines, redundant gas, sidemount, etc are all banned, but if were to have gone back there, there would have been no way for me to turn around and I would have had to back out of said passage. You have to go past a couple signs and look hard to find those passages, but they are there and I'm not sure how far back they do go. I would not go back in there without a line though
     
    Carl_F likes this.

Share This Page