Kija Blue 2006 Expedition

The Kija Blue 2006 Expedition has been carefully planned and the team selected from amongst Australia's top deep cave divers. The team comprises:

Paul Hosie (WASG-WA Speleo Group) - Trip Leader and shallow (<60m)>
Ken Smith (CEGSA-Cave Exploration Group of SA) - Shallow support diver and Lead underwater surveyor
Richard Harris (CEGSA) - Team Medic and Deep Diving Team 1
John Dalla-Zuana (ASF-CDG) - Deep Diving Team 1
Craig Challen (WASG) - Deep Diving Team 2
Steve James (WASG) - Deep Diving Team 2
These six cave divers (all members of the ASF-CDG), get choppered into this remote but spectacular Kimberley site for ten days together with nearly 700kg of equipment. The objectives of the trip are:

1. To explore and map the full underwater extent of the sinkhole.
2. To see how deep it goes ! (the team has planned for up to 150m)
3. To collect aquatic fauna as well as geological samples4. To video and photograph the expedition
5. To walk to and investigate other possible features in the vicinity of the sinkhole

The risk of DCS is exacerbated at this remote site because evacuation has to take place during daylight, the only time a helicopter can safely land. The trip plan focusses on minimising this risk by following highly conservative decompression profiles combined with aggressive first aid treatment including in water recompression. More than 22,000ltrs of Oxygen are being taken into the site!! A detailed Emergency Plan has been devised and distributed to the relevant authorities. [It is our ardent wish that we don't have to call on them!!]
Ken's excellent pingers have been modified to increase the range to over 150m and they will be used in combination with traditional line surveying techniques to map the sinkhole as accurately as possible. The underwater survey will be tied into the survey of the dry section of the sinkhole conducted by members of WASG in October 2005 to produce a single comprehensive map of the site.
General Plan:
Monday 17th July - the team meets in the Kimberley.
Tuesday 18th July - over 1200kg of payload get lifted into Kija Blue by helicopter. Camp will be set up and dive gear moved to the water's edge.
Wednesday 19th July - Diving commences.
(Nirvana Interlude !!)
Thursday 27th July - Helicopter doesn't forget us !!
Full text & Photos: Trimixdivers.com

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