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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Mine Diving
jagman

Joined: 11/03/2007

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 18:37:52
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I fancy giving this a whirl
Thought about it a few times over the years but cost has always been a factor.
Anyone got a realistic idea of whats involved in getting the necessary to go diving underground?
IP: 90.203.84.24
Griffo

Joined: 30/08/2007
Location: Llanfynydd

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 18:58:57
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Oh blimey, where do I start ? In the UK, most people, in the past, have got into this through caving, because they are very active cavers and they see passages they can only access with diving equipment. They get in touch with the Cave Diving Group, and serve something of an apprenticeship and get diving experience and knowledge and eventually get to crawl down muddy water-filled sumps and other such lovely things, including flooded mine workings. These days I guess it is a bit easier to get started. First of all you will need to be quite an experienced, and good, diver. You could then do cave diver courses in Mexico or Florida, and then by whatever means join somebody doing UK cave/mine diving. I did a weekend course with Martyn Farr, which involved a dive in some old silica workings in South Wales. Its a long job, but the rewards are well worth the effort. IP: 86.27.25.212
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 19:32:03
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Er...

Try diving somewhere else first! I'd suggest the place at Llanberis, which has the advantage of being in a slate pit.

Get someone to teach you who knows what they're doing - I "learned" to dive at university, with a BSAC-registered club (which is a Good Thing) and came very close to drowning (which is a Bad Thing).


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carnkie

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Joined: 07/09/2007
Location: camborne, cornwall

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 19:40:26
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Oh I don't know, you could say coming close to drowning is a good thing. Actually drowning would be the the bad thing. Sad

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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
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sparty_lea

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Joined: 26/04/2007
Location: Weardale

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 19:42:01
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Not suggesting its the way forward

... but I went to a talk by Geoff Yeadon once and he and his mate bought themselves a second hand cylinder, filled it on a farmers compressor and tested it out in Keld Head. Shocked
IP: 79.79.235.17
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 19:44:20
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carnkie wrote:

Oh I don't know, you could say coming close to drowning is a good thing. Actually drowning would be the the bad thing. Sad


Laugh

Scottish sea lochs in January are not a good idea!

Neither are buoyancy devices that leak!

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Filling space until a new signature comes along...
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jagman

Joined: 11/03/2007

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 20:14:01
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sparty_lea wrote:

Not suggesting its the way forward

... but I went to a talk by Geoff Yeadon once and he and his mate bought themselves a second hand cylinder, filled it on a farmers compressor and tested it out in Keld Head. Shocked


Kinda leaning in that direction myself.
After all, breathing just about comes naturally Big Grin
IP: 90.203.84.24
sparty_lea

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Joined: 26/04/2007
Location: Weardale

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 20:20:43
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Two friends of mine also had their first ever diving experience underground, including a free lesson from some very experienced guys.

.........getting rescued out of Sleets Gill Cave in Yorkshire after it had mostly filled with water.
Dont think either of them have kept up with it though Laugh
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Captain Scarlet

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Joined: 07/03/2007
Location: The Cumbrian Underground

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 20:21:28
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jagman wrote:

sparty_lea wrote:


After all, breathing just about comes naturally Big Grin


Ahhhhh.. Just ave a coupla fags first. You'll be fine! Big Grin

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Thru Metamorphic Rocks
IP: 86.134.22.48 Edited: 27/12/2008 21:42:21 by (moderator)
LAP

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Joined: 04/02/2007
Location: Somewhere between Carnforth/Carn-Ffyrdd, and Milnthorpe.

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 20:24:26
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Vanoord wrote:

carnkie wrote:

Oh I don't know, you could say coming close to drowning is a good thing. Actually drowning would be the the bad thing. Sad


Laugh

Scottish sea lochs in January are not a good idea!

Neither are buoyancy devices that leak!


Sea lochs are amazing places if you like wildlife, you get 'fjordic' ones which normally have quite steep, mountainous sides, generally having sheltered and pebbles beaches which lead into dark, kelpy waters, to submerged cliffs, and finally to a landscape of silt and shells.
They you also get 'Fjardic' ones which were formed by glacial movement over a flatter landscape, there's a very nice one called Loch Tairbeart/Tarbert on Harris which is a complex of lagoons, rock, sand, seaweed, and it's all crystal clear Big Grin.

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Cwmbru agh bedd - Alba gu brĂ th
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toadstone

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Joined: 10/09/2007
Location: Father's Dwelling, Big Low

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 20:26:40
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Griffo has obviously tried cave diving and his advice is good. But to answer some of your immediate questions the Wiki has a good deal of instant information and well worth reading. [web link]

This is the link for the Cave Diving Group. Again plenty of info.
[web link]

If you haven't see it already in a previous thread here then this video is a spectacular example of what it must be like.
[web link]

It is only a personal view but anyone who cave/mine dives must be totally barking...... but ......I take my hat off to those who attempt it. It is a true extreme sport.

Recently while down Ecton we were talking about the guy who last tried diving down there. Sadly he died on the way to hospital, never regained consciousness. For some unknown reason he came to the surface rather quickly and suffered from the bends. If I've got it wrong please correct me.

Many years ago, 40 to be precise, I got involved in "doing" long sumps without equipment. I only did a few times just couldn't handle it, I'm not ashamed to say.......know your limits. Good luck to you.

Peter.
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Griffo

Joined: 30/08/2007
Location: Llanfynydd

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 20:48:52
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The Ojamo mine video gives an excellent feeling of what its like to dive a reasonably large-diameter cave/mine passage. It really is a sensation completely alien to anything else you may have known. I guess its a sort of a flying thing. You must have total control of your buoyancy, or else you risk stirring up massive volumes of silt and reducing vis to zero. Also, you can see illustrated the first basic rule - you never dive without a continuous line to the surface. UK cave diving is very different - bottles are usually side-mount to allow you to squeeze through tight sections and generally there is zero vis anyway. Being barking mad can help, but you also have to be very cool and controlled if you are going to survive. IP: 86.27.25.212
Griffo

Joined: 30/08/2007
Location: Llanfynydd

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 21:46:56
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Jagman - are you a diver already ? IP: 86.27.25.212
robnorthwales

Joined: 21/05/2008
Location: Denbighshire, North wales

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 21:54:39
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It is only a personal view but anyone who cave/mine dives must be totally barking...... but ......I take my hat off to those who attempt it. It is a true extreme sport.


Thanks for the vote of confidence there !

I'll put in my 2p's worth (as a diver with quite a bit of experience)
It's only now, with over 100 dives under my belt, that I'm thinking about a bit of mine diving (and I'm blaming simonrl for the idea even occurring to me!). My wife is also my regular dive buddy, and even more experienced than me.
The most important things are safety, safety and safety. If you go, then you really need to be trained, and then experienced as well. Then, when you finally go cave or mine diving, you MUST be lifelined back to the surface. If even a smal amount of silt gets kicked up by your fins, you will have 6 inches of visibility, no matter how good your torches.
No lifeline = funeral (when your body is eventually recovered)
Training reduces the likelihood of embolisms, Oxygen toxicity, bends, narcosis, and all of the sort of screw-ups that can end your life (or put you in a wheelchair).
As I say, we have 200+ dives between us, and are now at the stage of thinking about a mine dive.
Oh, and yes, breathing does come pretty naturally, but knowing what to do in the event of a problem does not. A mask flood will kill you if you don't know what to do, and if you panic.

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Madness takes its toll, please carry exact change
IP: 91.125.3.82
Redwinch

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Joined: 14/06/2008
Location: Yorkshire

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 21:59:04
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toadstone wrote:

.
Many years ago, 40 to be precise, I got involved in "doing" long sumps without equipment. I only did a few times just couldn't handle it, I'm not ashamed to say.......know your limits. Good luck to you.

Peter.


Similar to you, first "free sump diving" as opposed to "ducks" was in west kingsdale, then Langstrothdale, 3 sumps, which was the scene of a tragic drowning accident when the party didnt find the airbell, what a way to go Oh My God

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Still supporting Alston Moor
IP: 86.129.6.67
jagman

Joined: 11/03/2007

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 21:59:32
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Griffo wrote:

Jagman - are you a diver already ?


Nope, never tried it Big Grin
However, I'm not famous for letting wisdom get in the way of things Innocent
IP: 90.203.84.24 Edited: 27/12/2008 22:00:20 by jagman
robnorthwales

Joined: 21/05/2008
Location: Denbighshire, North wales

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 22:06:34
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Did some research on accident rates a while back, and (IIRC) experienced divers were likely to have an accident once in 25,000 or so dives. Inexperienced (but qualified) divers it was more like 1 in 1,200.

I'll see if I can root it out.

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Madness takes its toll, please carry exact change
IP: 91.125.3.82
jagman

Joined: 11/03/2007

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 22:13:48
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Colonel Mustard wrote:

jagman wrote:

sparty_lea wrote:


After all, breathing just about comes naturally Big Grin


Ahhhhh.. Just ave a coupla fags first. You'll be fine! Big Grin


Shocked Maybe I could use one of those brass divers helmets and mount an electric lighter in it.......
Although it does leave the proble of what do to with the fag end (I worked that one out at an early age smoking whilst riding a motorcycle with full face helmet)
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Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 22:31:42
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jagman wrote:

Griffo wrote:

Jagman - are you a diver already ?


Nope, never tried it Big Grin
However, I'm not famous for letting wisdom get in the way of things Innocent


Consider it not dissimilar to flying a helicopter: you might pick it up first time, but more likely it could prove... troublesome Big Grin

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toadstone

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Joined: 10/09/2007
Location: Father's Dwelling, Big Low

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Mine Diving
Posted: 27/12/2008 22:32:32
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robnorthwales wrote:


Thanks for the vote of confidence there !


Please don't mis understand me as I've said I do admire those that do. Safety and checking are paramount to successful dives without a shadow of doubt. I think the thing that many fail to appreciate is that in open free diving, while there are fatalities, one get out aspect is that in many cases the diver has the option to surface if he/she is able to. In a cave or mine that invariably is not an option. To me psychologically it is just one step too far but then again I'm too old now anyway for such adventures Sad

I'll stick to building my ROV and film you Laugh
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