More people have been to the moon…
The underground world presents one of the last great frontiers. When climbers scale a peak they know how high it will be.
Exploring caves presents a unique challenge. The only way see what is round the corner is to go and look.
Pozo Azul, Northern Spain
Alongside an International team, John extended the Pozo Azul cave system, setting world records for the longest cave dive in the process. The exploration involved camping underground for 3 days, eventually diving through over 10 kilometres of flooded tunnel at extreme depth. Using new technology designed and build specifically for the purpose, it was possible, for the first time to map the cave and subsequently locate it’s path on the earth’s surface.
Wookey Hole, Somerset UK
With Dive partner Rick Stanton, John extended Wookey hole, passing the gravel blockage that had thwarted explorers for 20 years. Progress was made possible using breathing equipment specifically designed to be used at depth in the confined spaces found in UK caves. After developing unconventional underwater digging techniques including crowbars and lifting bags to move boulders blocking the submerged passage, John & Rick set a British cave diving depth record in excess of 90M.
Emergence du Ressel
With the end of the cave thought to have been reached after 4 kilometres of diving, John, alongside hive partner Rick, found a passage close to the end of the cave heading south. Progress down this 50cm high passage required the development of a new configuration of equipment to progress through the initial long and deep flooded corridors, and then be streamlined enough to pass the tight restrictions in the new passage. Progress stopped nearly 5km from daylight when an unstable boulder slope was found. Progress beyond this point is not possible.
Pushing the limits
Throughout his diving John has developed new equipment and techniques to progress safely in caves others thought impossible. Documenting and bringing back survey data from explorations has been a key goal. John continues to explore and innovate, designing and building mapping and communication systems, as well as the underwater breathing equipment necessary to safely progress in an exceptionally unforgiving environment.