Grant pearce

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - COVER STORY -

Pearce knows what most peo­ple think of his sport: it’s dan­ger­ous. That’s not sur­pris­ing given cave div­ing has claimed sev­eral lives in re­cent years. But it’s more than just the deaths that feeds the pub­lic ap­pre­hen­sion. It’s the idea of be­ing trapped un­der­ground, in cold wa­ter, in the dark. But to Pearce that ig­nores one pro­found re­al­ity. Any­one who goes that far un­der­ground needs to be highly trained. “It’s like any ex­treme sport,” he says. “You don’t just jump into it. It in­volves metic­u­lous train­ing and that train­ing is backed up by re­in­forc­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence by div­ing on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.”

Be­fore the most re­cent tragedies Pearce says there had been no deaths in cave div­ing for 30 years. He says the growth of the sport con­tributed to the ac­ci­dents. The

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