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New world record for longest cave dive

During a dive conducted on 5 November 2016, divers Jonathan Bernot and Charlie Roberson set a world record for the longest cave dive. They swam a distance of 8208 metres (26930 feet) during their exploration of Cathedral Canyon cave. The current record beat the achievement of Jarrod Jablonski and Casey McKinlay, who covered a distance
Published: November 24, 2016 - 17:09
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 14:18
New world record for longest cave dive

During a dive conducted on 5 November 2016, divers Jonathan Bernot and Charlie Roberson set a world record for the longest cave dive. They swam a distance of 8208 metres (26930 feet) during their exploration of Cathedral Canyon cave. The current record beat the achievement of Jarrod Jablonski and Casey McKinlay, who covered a distance of 7856 metres ( 25776 feet) in Wakulla Springs in 2008.

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The dive was conducted as part of Karst Underwater Research, with the aim of mapping the different sections of the cave. This is because Cathedral is part of the Falmouth-Cathedral Cave System, located in Suwannee County, Florida.

“By knowing where the different branches of the overall system lead, we have a better picture of how the water actually flows underground. In this way, we can identify exactly where the water is flowing from and the potential sources of contamination,” – said Jonathan Bernot

The preparations for the record-breaking dive took up a lot of time. Both divers, who live in Gainesville, carried out a total of 20 dives, during which they prepared, among other things, the appropriate amount of deposits. This made it possible to explore the cave for 16.5 hours without a break and to map a further 1650 metres.

It turned out that in this cave the visibility does not improve in the further parts of the cave and is about 4.5- 6 metres. The next dives will be even more challenging, as the cave still leaves room for further exploration.

“The cave drags on, the next dive will probably take more than 20 hours” – Bernot concluded

Karst Underwater Research is a not-for-profit organisation. Their main aim is to explore flooded caves and caverns.

Source: gainesville.com

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Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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