Record Breaking Cave Dive in New Zealand

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The Pearse Resurgence

The Pearse Resurgence (source Wikimedia Commons)

A team of 6 Australian cave divers led by diving physician Richard Harris and funded by National Geographic has completed a 194m dive in New Zealand’s Pearce Resurgence fresh water cave which is possibly the deepest in the world.

The Pearse Resurgence wells up from an unknown depth, with ice cold water and divers having to work against a current, diving this cave is no easy task. In 1995 Dave Weaver died while diving the cave with well known New Zealand diver Kieren McKay. As they were ascending from a deep dive Dave Weaver was below McKay and seemed to be having difficulties, Kieren went to descend but was unable to help him and would likely have died himself if he had continued down after him.

To help over come the hazards of the dive the team constructed four dry habitats and placed them at different depths for the divers to perform their decompression stops. Because of the remoteness of the cave, 5 tons of equipment had to be flown in by helicopter and the team camped on site for 3 weeks.

The Pearse Resurgence opens at the foot of a cliff in a remote area of the South Island near Nelson and feeds the Pearse river, several explorations have been made of the system but it’s source is still unknown.

A full account of the expedition can be on National Geographic‘s website along with a short video.

Pearse Resurgence map

Pearse Resurgence (By Rick Saanton, adapted from map by Appleby, Cashman and Collins)


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published on May 5, 2011 by jason
tags: , , , , , , , category: tec

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