Incident Report

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Incident Report 2020-05-01T16:26:00+00:00

Route finding difficulties and poor gas management

Incident Date

1906-04-06

Incident Description

Four divers attempted an exchange between Meregill Hole and Roaring Hole. Two divers dived through from Meregill Hole to Roaring Hole at which point the other two divers put on the equipment and dived back the other way. Close to the Meregill entrance there is a line junction. Due to a planning muddle the divers turned right instead of left. The right hand passage is very low and didnt answer the description given. By now the divers were already over thirds margins and communication in such a small passage was impossible. The lead diver decided to continue along the passage and fortunately it turned out that this route also reached the surface. If this had not been the case the situation would have been extremely serious.

Lessons Learned

1) This dive was very poorly planned. The first pair of divers should have left out tags on the line and the second pair of divers should have made it their business to study the survey and make quite sure they knew which way to go. 2) Gas management was poor. The second pair of divers were well over thirds when they surfaced. The essential mistake made was that gas consumption was calculated as though a diver was making a dive there and back. Because the second pair of divers were unfamiliar with the sump they should have set out with sufficient gas to not go over thirds of what the cylinders contained when they started their dive.
Factors
Line Management Minor
Gas Management Major
Equipment Management Negligible
Equipment Failure Negligible
Training Negligible
Medical Negligible
Planning Major
Procedural Error Negligible
Cave Environment Negligible
Weather Negligible
Other Factor Negligible