All photos on this page © Steve Gerrard.
Cave Diving Accidents and Risks
Most cave diving accidents come down to five simple things. The diver had:
Seconds after this photo was taken, the room would go black in a siltout. I don't mean low viz, I mean ZERO viz. Divers train for this kind of common occurence. There are multiple hazards such as the silt, the dark and navigation that divers must be prepared for at anytime.
Not too far in the distant past, the claim could be made that very few, if any, certified cave divers had ever died in a cave. All the deaths (about 300 to that point) were of untrained divers entering a cave. That has changed since the mid-1990s with the rising popularity of cave diving. Now certified cave divers are dying at the rate of a few per year. Still, the rough overall numbers are that only 10% of cave diving deaths are by appropriately certified cave divers. Said another way -- 90% of deaths in underwater caves are by untrained divers. Don't be lured into an environment for which you are unprepared!
There have only been a small handful of accidents in which the equipment or the cave itself reached out and killed the divers. The rest of the accidents are human error, panic, or shear folly. Reading some of the dive accident reports, you just have to ask -- What were they thinking??
See Steve Gerrard's website (www.deephorizon.info) and the NACD website (www.safecavediving.com) for a more in-depth discussion of safety and diving practices.