Karen van den Oever of South Africa recently broke the women’s deep cave diving record.
On March 26, 2021, Van den Oever dove to 236.04 meters (770 feet) at Bushmansgat Cave in South Africa’s Northern Cape province with a bottom gas of trimix 6/85, exceeding the previous women’s deep cave diving record of 221 meters (721 feet) set by Verna van Schaik in 2004.
The dive lasted seven hours and 18 minutes. Adjusting for Bushmansgat’s altitude of 1550 meters (5085 feet), her dive was equivalent to a sea-level dive to 283 meters (928 feet).
According to Van den Oever:
“This was a dive that I have been working towards for a long time. It was a challenging dive. You train not for the dives that go well but for when things don’t go well. I decided to turn at 236 meters/774 feet, as my intuition told me that this was where I needed to stop.”
John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.