Cave Diving and Mines

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Five Recycled Line Arrows

Fourth Element Cave Line Markers

As much as possible, Fourth Element embraces two principles; Zero Waste and Zero Plastic. They achieve this by re-purposing as much plastic as possible, whilst finding new uses for products at the end of their lives. The company has therefore carved out an environmental niche by producing "grave to cradle" 'Ocean Positive' products for scuba divers. 

We believe that this is the way,” said Jim Standing, co-founder of Fourth Element. “We are all going to have to tackle the challenges of a post covid world and one of these will be how we deal with the waste we have created as part of keeping ourselves and in particular, our frontline workers protected. We intend to play our part.”

Cave Diving: The Final Frontier...

Cave diver in Cenote Tak Be Luum near Tulum, Mexico
Cave diver in Cenote Tak Be Luum near Tulum, Mexico. Photo by Daniel Millikovsky

When one thinks about cave diving, the feelings are mixed and it is very difficult to express what it feels like in a single word, but perhaps a possible description is “to live the discovery.” Discovery is an experience and an intrinsic need in human beings since before the discovery of fire.

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'Thirteen Lessons' was published on 1 June 2021, in hardback form | Price £20

'Thirteen lessons that saved thirteen lives' published today!

The 'Wild Boars' football team and their coach had become stranded after sudden, torrential monsoon rain poured into Tham Luang cave. Within days two British cave divers - John Volanthen and Rick Stanton - along with British caver Rob Harper were dispatched to Thailand to assist an army of rescue personnel.

‘Thirteen Lives' is a case study in courage. Ron Howard, Oscar-winning director of Apollo

Mexico's Quintana Roo: Cave Diving on the Yucatán Peninsula

Diver in Cenote Zacil-Ha, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photo by Pierre Constant
Diver in Cenote Zacil-Ha, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photo by Pierre Constant

As a cave diver, you do not come back from the Yucatán and say, “I have done Mexico,” boasting with pride and glory. It takes more than one visit to fully appreciate the enormous potential the peninsula has to offer underground. That means having not only the guts for it, but also the necessary training and experience to be able to do so. “Rome was not built in a day,” as the saying goes.

IPE in Technical Diving — Risk & Response

IPE is the abnormal leakage of fluid from the bloodstream into the alveoli, the microscopic air sacs in the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing up bloody sputum, and respiratory distress. Leakage into the alveoli results in fluid buildup in the lungs, and interrupts gas exchange, similar to drowning. It is important to note that fluid resulting from IPE comes from within the body, rather than from inhalation of surrounding water.

Full Cave Navigation Protocols in Mexico

Guide line in Cenote Chac Mool, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Photo by Larry Cohen.

I started cave diving in Italy in 1990. At that time, the rules were very clear, codified and related to the kind of caves that were encountered in my region. Very often, they were resurgences with current (sometimes strong) or sumps inside caves, with water ranging from crystal clear to the color of coffee and variable visibility, depending on the rains.

Diving Then and Now: The Wookey Hole Caves—Birthplace of Cave Diving

Penelope Powell and Graham Balcombe kitted up in Wookey Hole Cave for the first ever cave dive in 1935. Historical photo courtesy of Mendip Cave Registry and Archive Cave Diving Group.
Penelope Powell and Graham Balcombe kitted up in Wookey Hole Cave for the first ever cave dive in 1935. Historical photo courtesy of Mendip Cave Registry and Archive Cave Diving Group.

The beginnings of cave diving can be traced to the Wookey Hole Caves in England. And 85 years later, divers like Matt Jevon are still doing their part to discover this cavern’s full potential.

Lady in red. Helen Farr loved red! She is pictured here at Jug Hole, Florida

The cave diving community mourns the loss of Helen Farr

Helen Farr was "a massively committed and active cave diver" of two decades. Although you might not realise it, you will have probably seen her photo in a diving magazine, a mainstream newspaper, a cave diving book (such as the iconic 'The Darkness Beckons', third edition) or featured in a presentation.

Helen was 100% committed to the sport [cave diving]. Richie Stevenson, Underwater cinematographer

Hilarion: Exploring the Greek Silver Mines of Lavreotiki

Smiling faces after completion of a successful dive in Mine 80 (below) with Tzamalis (right) at the surface in support of exploration divers Kranidiotis (left) and Stamatakis (center), Hilarion mine complex, Lavrio, Lavreotiki, Greece. Photo by Maria Fotiadi.

In May 2019, a group of dry cavers visited the famous silver mines of Lavrion in the southeastern area of Attica, Greece. The main objective of the visit was to inspect and document the flooded chambers.