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Thailand Cave Drama Brings Local Spelunking Dangers To Mind

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As the hopes and prayers of the world focused on the young soccer team trapped in a Thailand cave, rescuers collaborated to contrive the most likely journey out for the boys and their coach. While this rescue mission is far more dramatic and complex than what we normally associate with caving, it does remind us of the very real dangers that can accompany the popular sport of spelunking. 

Florida Caves

Caving, or spelunking, as it is commonly called, exposes people to all kinds of wondrous sights, from incredible formations to breathtaking waterfalls, from beautiful pools to unusual animals. Florida is home to a number of underwater cave systems, sinkholes, and other caves. Just a few of these natural wonders located in the Sunshine State include:

  • Devil’s Den is a prehistoric spring located 60 feet underground;
  • Florida Caverns State Park is an open-air cave full of amazing stalactites hanging from cave ceilings and incredible formations throughout;
  • Leon Sinks is a unique underwater arrangement of caverns that have formed due to years of rainwater slowly eroding the walls and tunnels;
  • Warren’s Cave is roughly four miles of convoluted pathways and caverns.
  • Peacock Springs contains over 28,000 feet of passageways, one of the longest underwater systems of caverns in the nation devoted to cave diving.

Why Such Interest in Caves?

While the thought of being in a dark, cool, moist, enclosed space is the last thing some people would ever consider subjecting themselves to, for many people, caving is the adventure of a lifetime. There are plenty of motivations to explore caves, such as:

  • Pure, unadulterated love of adventure;
  • Physical challenge and sport;
  • Scientific investigation;
  • Plain old fun and association with like-minded individuals.

Potential Dangers

Caving occurs in nature, meaning many factors are out of your control. Common hazards include:

  • Hypothermia;
  • Becoming stuck in a small space, or lost altogether;
  • Falling;
  • Loose rubble or stones falling;
  • Flooding;
  • Diseases from drinking cave water;

Safety First

If you are one of the millions of people who have an interest in this type of exploration, experts provide a number of safety suggestions for any outing:

  • Never go spelunking alone;
  • Make sure someone knows where you’re going and what your anticipated time frame is;
  • Bring at least three light sources that are water resistant and very durable. Make sure you have extra batteries, bulbs, carbide, matches (waterproof) and so forth.
  • Dress appropriately, including wearing a hardhat and clothes that will protect you from hypothermia, scratches, and cave hazards;
  • If you don’t feel well, reschedule your trip;
  • Secure eyeglasses properly, because limited vision would be a huge setback;
  • Have plenty of fresh water and nutritious snacks.

At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, we hope all life’s adventures bring you the excitement and stimulation you’re seeking, buffeted with safety and security. In the event you find yourself experiencing serious personal harm due to the recklessness of someone else, our experienced team will support you as you negotiate the complexities of the justice system. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach when you need aggressive legal support.

Resource:

mit.edu/activities/spelunk/introtocaving.html