Dive Logistics of the Turner to Wakulla Cave Traverse.

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Dive Logistics of the Turner to Wakulla Cave Traverse.

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Title: Dive Logistics of the Turner to Wakulla Cave Traverse.
Author: Kernagis, DN; McKinlay, C; Kincaid, TR
Abstract: Since its official inception in 1990, the mission of Global Underwater Explorers' Woodville Karst Plain Project (WKPP) has been to explore, survey, and protect the underwater cave systems of North Florida's Woodville Karst Plain. On December 15 2007, the WKPP exploration team of Jarrod Jablonski and Casey McKinlay conducted a seven mile underwater traverse between Turner Sink (Leon Sinks Cave System) and Wakulla Springs to verify the connection the team made between the two systems earlier in the year. With no possible exit to the surface along the way, the journey took 6.5 hours at a depth of 300 ffw (91 mfw) followed by approximately 14 hours of decompression. An estimated 50 international team members were present to support this dive, with tasks including equipment staging, decompression monitoring, and surface management. Following established WKPP protocol, two-person support teams worked in three hour shifts over a 24 hour period. All WKPP equipment, gasses and procedures are standardized to maximize efficiency and flexibility. Roles and experience levels vary, but support teams are broadly interoperable because project members share common equipment, gasses, and training. Continuous support was present in the water and on the surface to handle potential injuries or problems, food, drink and additional gas supplies. Using this standardized approach, the WKPP successfully completed the traverse and set two world records, including the longest cave dive between two entrances and the longest traverse in a deep cave. The connection of the two cave systems yields the Wakulla-Leon Sinks Cave System, currently the longest underwater cave in the United States and the fourth largest in the world at a total of 28 miles of surveyed passages.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/8011
Date: 2008

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