Boesmansgat - deep cave...
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Eurotek 2010 Presentation
'Boesmansgat (Bushmans Hole), South Africa.'

An attempted body recovery in one of the world’s deepest caves

By Don Shirley
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Boesmansgat is a cave in the Northern Cape, South Africa; it is entered through a puddle, then a slot in the floor, which opens up into a magnificent chamber, in which you could place the Eiffel Tower.

In October 2004, Dave Shaw did a record breaking dive on closed circuit rebreather to 270 meters, tied off his reel to the main shot line and started exploring the bottom of Boesmansgat; unheard of at that depth. He soon came across Deon Dreyer, lost 10 years earlier on a dive, and tied the line to him to enable his body to be found again.

Plans were quickly made to recover Deon’s body across continents, and on 8 January 2005, Dave was back in South Africa to attempt the recovery. The events that followed became one of the most public diving incidents ever.

The recovery dive went very wrong. Dave wasn’t at the prescribed turn around depth to meet his buddy, Don Shirley. Don could see Dave’s light at the bottom, and decided to go to his alternate plan to descend to the bottom and see if Dave could be helped.
At 250 meters, his handset imploded and he had to abort. Approximately an hour and a half later Don was in his own life and death struggle, where he had to survive for a gruelling 10 hours whilst doing his decompression obligations.

This is a story of not giving up against all odds. It is also a story of friendship and how far dive buddies will go when one of theirs is in danger.

Note:- Boesmansgat is the actual Afrikaans name, which translates to Bushmans Hole.

Above:- The entrance toBoesmansgat cave in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

Above:- Deep cave explorer Don Shirley being lowered into the water at Lake Otjikoto, Nambia

Above:- Deep cave explorer Don Shirley entering Komati Springs in South Africa
For more Information and contacting Don Shirley:-

News at the time of incident
Divers recover two bodies from Boesmansgat cave
The bodies of divers David Shaw and Deon Dreyer have been successfully recovered from Boesmansgat cave, North Cape, South Africa. Shaw was lost in an earlier attempt to recover Dreyer's body.
The international team of divers who assembled to recover Dreyer's body at the beginning of January were taking out their lines and equipment from the cave when the two bodies came to the surface.

Shaw, who was lost on the initial attempt to recover Dreyer's body, appears to have become entangled in the line that he was attaching to the body. Under normal circumstances, an experienced diver would have no trouble in cutting themself free, but the effort required to do so is likely to have proved excessive at 270m.

Shaw had earlier told the team not to attempt any dive to recover his body if he did not return.

The bodies were spotted at a depth of 25m, entangled in line, having been brought to the surface as lines and diving equipment were being retrieved from the cave. A post-mortem will now be carried out on both by the South African authorities.

Dreyer was originally lost in 1990, and his remains lay undiscovered until October 2004, when Shaw came across the body while diving Boesmansgat to break the world depth record for a rebreather dive. He agreed to attempt the recovery after talking to Dreyer's parents.

Boesmansgat, also known in English as "Bushman's Hole", is believed to be the third-deepest submerged freshwater cave (or sinkhole) in the world, approximately 270 metres deep. It is located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

Further related information
How cave diver filmed his own death more info >>

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