Scuba diving, while being an extremely popular and fun sport, in fact, is enjoyed by those who seek out of the ordinary adventures in their lives. To them, there is definitely something about being embraced by the warmth, quiet, and calm of the gentle waters, usually an outlet for those who want to relax and escape the city life.
For some, however, the shallow waters would never be enough. So, they go out of their way and extend their horizons by engaging in cave diving. Maybe because these people want to reach places where others will not and cannot go to. While cave diving is such a fun water sport, it is also among the most dangerous water sports out there, due to the narrow spaces paired with the strong currents and wild depths. In this post, we will be talking about the most challenging and most dangerous cave dives to date. Brace yourselves, as these are certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Top 5 Most Dangerous Cave Dives
The Shaft Sinkhole in Mount Gambier, Australia
While the Shaft Sinkhole in Mount Gambier, Australia is a wonderful dive site to explore by cave divers, it is also one of the most dangerous cave dive sites in the world. At the start of the cave dive, the diver will be required to take off their cave dive equipment just to be able to get through a tiny manhole, which might be too small to accommodate both the diver and the equipment.
Once the equipment has been passed onto the diver, he or she can now begin to explore a series of dangerous and not to mention, very dark caves. What makes this one of the most dangerous cave dives is that it is essential for the diver to only have low air consumption. This is due to the fact that the diver may get lost or may not have enough air for the ascent to the water’s surface. Unfortunately, the Shaft Sinkhole has claimed several lives because of these reasons.
Eagle’s Nest Sinkhole in Weeki Wachee, Florida
The Eagle’s Nest Sinkhole is located in the western area of Weeki Wachee, Florida. This dive site features about 315 meters depth, which we are sure can make it very challenging, even for the most experienced divers.
We are sure that you know that the deeper you go in the cave dive, it is more likely that the nitrogen narcosis is to set in, which then causes disorientation. In the event the diver becomes disoriented, he or she may be prevented from checking the depth gauge, along with the air consumption. This would ultimately mean that the diver might run out of air on the way to the surface. As with the previous cave dive site, the Eagle’s Nest Sinkhole also has claimed the lives of several divers, who definitely enjoy pushing their limits.
Samaesan Hole - Samaesan Bay, Thailand
The Samaesan Hole in Thailand is also an incredible cave to explore but also one of the world’s most dangerous cave dive sites. This hole penetrates deep at around 85 meters, coupled with very strong currents. Along with the strong currents you will find in there are unexploded bombs, as the hole was once a former military ground. While this provides a diver with a unique experience, in terms of what can be seen underneath the water’s surface, we also include this one on this list for a reason.
Another reason why the Samaesan Hole in Thailand is among the most dangerous cave sites in the world is because of the strong currents. Imagine a diver resurfacing several miles away from the original launching point. That’s how strong the current is down at the sinkhole.
Tham Luang Cave in Pong Pha, Thailand
The Tham Luang Cave was brought to international fame due to the twelve members of the junior football team, along with their coach, who were trapped inside it for 18 days. They would have come out of the said cave if only it did not flood inside due to heavy rainfall. Thankfully, the boys and their coach were successfully rescued due to the massive joint rescue operation orchestrated by the Thai government, its military, along with a group of international expert cave divers. Among the rescuers were British divers, who found the trapped individuals on a muddy ledge, more than four kilometers away from the entrance.
Interestingly, the effort to save their lives become a global operation, watched by millions around the world. Unfortunately, due to the dangerous nature of the operation, a diver named Saman Kunan died during the rescue mission. The suspected cause of death was believed to be due to having run out of air and having placed the air tanks along the rescue route.
The Blue Hole in Dahab, Red Sea, Egypt
Last and probably the most dangerous cave dive site around the world is the Blue Hole in the Red Sea, Egypt. More popularly known as the ‘Diver’s Cemetery’, this risky yet amazing attraction is well-known because of the ‘arch’, a passageway leading to the open waters. The arch is believed to be approximately 56 meters below the water’s surface. In case you are wondering, the allowable depth is only limited to 30 meters.
As mentioned earlier, anyone going as deep as 30 meters underwater is likely to experience nitrogen narcosis, which is very dangerous as it can alter a diver’s decision making and judgment. In addition, this type of narcosis renders the diver to be unable to process good and fast decisions. It can also cause disorientation, as well as the loss of consciousness, which can be extremely dangerous for a diver. Unfortunately, some divers of the sinkhole have experienced the said narcosis and missed the opening of the arch. Worse, some of them have died while underwater. To date, approximately 150 divers’ lives have been claimed by the Blue Hole in the Red Sea, Egypt.
The cave dive sites mentioned in this post all provide a serene and beautiful diving experience. However, they also feature an added element of mystery, risk, and danger, which may be so compelling that many divers have already risked their lives just to say that they were up for the challenge. From these major sinkholes in Thailand, Australia, in the US, and in Egypt, we are sure that these raise every diver’s curiosity and have become places where divers can check off their bucket lists. However, given the dangerous environment of these dive sites, we do not recommend that you do attempt having a cave diving session in those places.