Cave Diving – Limestone Coast
Beneath the ground of the Limestone Coast is a vast labyrinth of caves and sinkholes : more than most people realise!
Some of these caves (such as Engelbrechts) & sinkholes are accessible to the public and others (such as Tank Cave) are restricted with access available only to fully certified cave divers. Engelbrecht Cave is presently the only cave to serve as both a tourist site and a cave dive site.
The Limestone Coast offers many varied dive sites; two of which are located within Engelbrecht Cave.
Engelbrechts East is the easier to achieve dive due to its category and lesser training required. This is a ‘cave’ site: “defined as an enclosed body of water containing overhangs, silt,darkness zones & passages large enough for 2 divers to dive adjacent to each other; allowing maximum penetration with 1/3 twin cylinder gas supply.”
Many trainees are brought through to dive this site under full guidance of their instructors during their final stage of training.
Engelbrechts West is a ‘penetration’ site (advenced cave): “defined as an enclosed body of water containing silt, darkness zones & passages without restrictions on size of passages, number of cylinders or penetration distances. ”
This level of dive is not attainable for all divers. For those who do hold certification for West, the dive is extremely worthwhile with access to narrow restrictions, airchambers beneath major highways and passages beneath some of the homes in Mount Gambier.
At this point in time cave divers to Engelbrecht Cave have approximately 600m of cave to explore, with the possibility of further passages in the future; as presently the end of the cave is a rockpile blockage and in recent times is showing small dissolved areas that allow divers a window into the other side…. water can be clearly seen so we do know that the cave continues, but for how far and in which direction remains a mystery.
Links to CDAA WEBSITE: www.cavedivers.com.au (CDAA formed September 1973…41 yrsago)
LizRogers website: lizrogersphotography.com
Peter Puddles reports pages: http//:sites.google.com.site/cdiverepts