Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dahab, Egypt~ "Diver's Cemetery" [201 meters in] "The Blue Hole"

Dmitry Podolsky and Andrew Chistyakov, have achieved marks of 170 and 201 meters in Dahab in frame of deep dive programm, leading by Andrew Chistyakov.

It was second dive ( on 200+ ) for Dmitry and 7th for Andrew - leading technical and cave diver in Russia.

Modern methods, the huge personal experience of Andrew and his student and friend -Dmitry have allowed to make these dives safe, as well as to squeeze deco time : 201 m by 225 min.

Blue Hole is a popular diving location on east Sinai, a few kilometres north of Dahab, Egypt on the coast of the Red Sea.

The Blue Hole is a submarine sinkhole (a kind of cave), around 130 m deep.

There is a shallow opening around 6 m deep, known as 'the saddle', opening out to the sea, and a 26 m long tunnel, known as the arch, the top of which lies at a depth of 56 m.

The hole itself and the surrounding area has an abundance of coral and reef fish.


The Blue Hole is notorious for the number of diving fatalities which have occurred there, earning it the sobriquet "World's Most Dangerous Dive Site" and the nickname "Diver's Cemetery".

The site is signposted by a sign that says "Blue hole: Easy entry". Accidents are frequently caused when divers attempt to find the tunnel through the reef (known as "The Arch") connecting the Blue Hole and open water at about 52 m depth.

This is beyond the PADI maximum advanced recreational diving limit of 40 metres and the effect of nitrogen narcosis is significant at this depth.

Divers who miss the tunnel sometimes continue descending, hoping to find the tunnel farther down and become increasingly narced.


The "Arch" is reportedly extremely deceptive in several ways:
  • It is difficult to detect because of the odd angle between the arch, open water, and the hole itself.
  • Because of the dim lighting and the fact that most light enters from outside, it appears shorter than it really is. Divers report that the Arch appears less than 10 m long but measurements have shown it is 26 m from one end to the other.
  • There is frequently a current flowing inward through the arch towards the Blue Hole, increasing the time it takes to swim through.
  • The arch continues downward to the seabed which is beyond view and there is therefore no "reference" from below.

Technical diver passing under the Arch.

Divers who resist the temptation of the Arch and remain within their training and limitations are in no more danger than on any other Red Sea dive site.

However, the Arch has proved irresistible for many and thus the dive site is considered unsuitable for beginners and a potential trap for even experienced divers.

Beach and surface of the water at Blue Hole

Two freedivers at Blue Hole.

Diving through the arch requires suitable training and equipment, usually including a mixed-gas qualification from a technical diving training agency, technical diving equipment such as redundant gas supply, redundant large-capacity buoyancy control device and a breathing gas with reduced nitrogen content such as trimix.

The Egyptian authorities claim that 40 divers have died at this site since records began; however, many local dive guides believe that the authorities are deliberately underestimating the numbers and that there have actually been at least twice that many fatalities.

A famous (and videotaped) death in the Blue hole is that of Yuri Lipski, an Israeli-Russian diver who died at 91.6 m below the surface.

Lipski was a victim of inexperience and lack of proper equipment.[citation needed]


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