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First Issue of Guidelines

First Issue of Guidelines, the association's cave diving newsletter, published.

Testing Program Introduced

The Cave Diver Testing Program was introduced to set standards for equipment and skills and test divers before entry into cave sites was permitted.  Three testing categories were introduced:

  • Category 1 - entry level cavern, sinkhole diving
  • Category 2 - cave diving in an overhead environment with dark zones and siltt
  • Category 3 - advanced cave diving in large complex cave systems

Pics Fatality (2nd)

Two divers enter Piccaninnie Pines intending to dive the 'Dog Leg' at about 60m, one drowns as a consequence of poor equipment, limited experience.

CDAA Established

Cave Divers Association of Australia established to introduce training standards and regulate site access.  

Shaft Drowning

In the worse tragedy in world cave diving experience equalled only once by a similar multiple-drowning the USA, 4 divers drowned in the most renowned sinkhole of Mt. Gambier, a cave called The Shaft.

Death Cave Fatality

At the time, this multiple drowning was the worse in cave diving history in the world, and its repercussions caused a great deal of self-examination by diving clubs throughout the country.  October 1972 long weekend saw a large Adelaide Dive Club run a trip to Mt. Gambier to dive various sinkholes.  Four divers entered a cave, without a guideline and adequate equipment, the silt was stirred up transforming the clear water into impenetrable back within minutes.  The group became disoriented, three divers drowned and one only just made it out before running out of air.

Pics Fatality

A diver drowns in Piccaninnie Ponds, a narrow water filled rift which at this point had never been bottomoed.  The site is now known to be approximately 120 metres deep.

Kilsby's Fatality

Two divers die in Kilsby's sinkhole, a site that is 20 metres in diameter at the surface with very clear water in excess of 60 metres deep.

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