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Lars Hemel
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Certification Number:
PADI 471740
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Bushman's Hole is with 270m the world's third deepest freshwater cave system in the world.

Name Dive Site:Bushman's Hole
Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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Bushman's Hole or Boemansgat is a 270 meter deep cave or sinkhole situated on Mount Carmel in the Northern Cape at 1450 meter altitude. This sweet water cave is the world's third deepest freshwater cave and attracts a lot of technical extremist but also newbies to the cave diving sport. Up to 60 meter diving here is quite safe and restricted to one long funnel. The cave system expands afterwards and has many different sections leading to unknown depths which are not explored yet. A must dive for cave specialists but dangerous as well and not without accidents.

The first logged accident was in December 1994 when 20 year old diver Deon Dreyer drowned after a blackout when he was diving here with his father. Australian diver Dave Shaw found his remains more than ten years later on October 28, 2004 at 270 meters deep. In January 2005, Dave, several police divers and technical volunteers were fully prepared to bring Deon Dreyer to the surface. They used the best equipment and were fully equipped with closed-circuit rebreathers and a relay system to attach the body to. Deon's parents were brought over and a small service near the waterfront was being prepared when the body was finally recovered from the deep. But things went hopelessly wrong. Dave failed to attach the body to a rope. His team mate Don Shirley who was second in line was waiting for him at 220 meter and started looking when it took too long. He couldn't find him and was forced to surface when he started vomiting and becoming disoriented. He reached the surface safely, but suffered from severe decompression illness. It was a sad day in the dive world and officials decided that not more divers where placed at risk to retrieve the bodies from the deep. Bushman's Hole was going to be Dave's final resting place which was as he wanted it to be in case he should die.

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