Danger sport of cave diving defended after second tank death

Posted: 10/21/2011 in all marine news

News.com.au –

Cave divers leapt to the defence of their extreme sport yesterday after a Melbourne father with 10 years’ experience died in South Australia’s Tank Cave.

The Doncaster man, 40, who was known as Tony and had dived the notorious underwater labyrinth before, was reported missing about 3.45pm on Sunday when he failed to surface.

He was the second person this year to die in the 6.5km network of water-filled caves recognised as the most spectacular, and dangerous, in the southern hemisphere.

But divers say his death was not a result of pushing the extremes of the sport.

World renowned Polish cave diver Agnes Milowka died there in February when she reportedly ran out of air after becoming separated from her companion 500m from the cave’s entrance as she pushed into unexplored territory.

Cave Divers Association of Australia national director John Vanderleest said: “There is no logic as to why he didn’t make it out.

“Where he was planning on diving, he went through that as planned. It was a very controlled exit from the cave. We don’t as yet understand why he didn’t make it out.”

Diver Andy Higgins arrived at the scene in the midst of the panic and was part of the retrieval team.

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