Cave Diving Frequently Asked Questions
Cave Diving is a highly technical form of diving and caving. The purpose of this page is to condense some of the frequently asked questions of open-water divers and dry-zone cavers interested in exploring submerged caves into one convenient resource.
If you have any questions that you feel are basic-level but are not addressed here, please contact us at webmaster@NSSCDS.org so that we can update the list.
Okay, okay, the statistics say something like 3% of bowlers and scuba divers die each year, and since cave divers are a sub-set of scuba divers, I've made the assumption that a smaller percentage of cave divers die than bowlers. It's been pointed out to me quite, er, pointedly, that this is a fallacy, but then we all know that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. My point is that I'm trying to make a point. If you're a bowler, please don't dis me on this. Sorry for the digression.
So the most dangerous part is when you get in your car, truck or van and drive to the dive site. If you don't want to die in an underwater cave, then don't go IN the cave. Don't even go in the water. Nothing is "perfectly safe" and neither is cave diving. It is a very dangerous activity for the untrained, unexperienced, poorly equipped... (Here's the main point -->) But a well-equipped, educated and prudent cave diver has more to worry about driving to the dive site and walking to the water than what happens during the dive.
This is probably the hardest question to answer because the answer is different for everyone who cave dives. Most underwater caves are quite beautiful, especially in the clear water regions of north-central Florida, and the rugged jungle cenotes in and around Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This beauty can be attributed due to their cave formations, passageways, mineral encrustations, silt formations, unique fauna such as blind cave fish, and even bacteria colonies.
Most anyone who has been in a cavern zone has seen the beauty of the sunlight shining through the opening. Other cave divers are entranced with the difficulty: they enjoy a challenge. The cave passageways are usually complex and the trained cave diver must plan carefully. The planning for and successful execution of a cave dive through a cave can be enormously satisfying.
Other cave divers simply love the technology: they are equipment junkies. This isn't always a good thing, but even with a minimalist approach to cave diving, there is quite a bit of gear required, and certainly quite a bit of preparation, cleaning, adjusting, assembling and reassembling. The diver, too, must be careful to keep their second most important piece of equipment in shape, too: their body.