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Cave divers caught in underwater avalanche

Published on: 3rd November, 2015 | Diving News
Photo credit: http://www.techinsider.io/kenny-broad-national-geographic-underwater-avalanche-blue-hole-cave-bahama
A group of cave divers have survived a heart-stopping avalanche of silt, while exploring a Blue Hole in the Bahamas and caught it on video.

 As a new cave diver just the thought of this gives me the heebie jeebies. But this was the reality for Kenny Broad, an experienced environmental anthropologist and his team of divers. 

 “Blue hole” caves in the Bahamas are rich laboratory environments, that hold clues to past climate conditions, harbor a diverse population of multicellular organisms and supply drinking water to many communities. However, these caves have remained largely unexplored due to being incredibly dangerous and challenging to maneuver. Some of these caves can reach 200-300m deep and contain labyrinth like mazes that continue for kilometers. 

In the video captured by the divers, released by national geographic, Broad and his team were shimming through a narrow passage way when “all of a sudden it just started raining down on top of me”. Broad believed that the kicks from their fins or the pressure waves from their bodies must have set of an avalanche of silt. He likened it to imaging “turning the light off in your house and putting a blanket over your head and then trying to find your way out”.

Thankfully, both team mates were able to locate the guideline and exit the cave before being overwhelmed by the avalanche.  

The original article ‘Cave divers caught the terrifying moments of an underwater avalanche on video’ by Julia Calderone is available here: http://www.techinsider.io/kenny-broad-national-geographic-underwater-avalanche-blue-hole-cave-bahamas-2015-10


Ryan Duchatel

REC Divemaster, OC & CCR TEC diver. PhD candidate in Experimental Pharmacology