The Cave Divers Association of Australia (CDAA) was formed in September 1973. At the time landowners throughout the Mount Gambier area of South Australia, were contemplating the closure of all holes to diving for fear of legal liability following a spate of diving fatalities in the water filled caves. With the forming of the CDAA, sinkhole divers hoped to prevent the wholesale closure of the dive sites by presenting a united voice in defence of their sport. They wished to indicate to landowners and the public at large that they were able to regulate their activities to acceptable standards of safety and training.
The newly formed CDAA set up a series of criteria and testing procedures. Initially these were a listing of all the popular cave diving sites divided into three different Categories based on their degree of difficulty. This was later expanded into the four levels of training - Cavern, Sinkhole, Cave, and Penetration - and now to three levels known as Deep Cavern, Cave and Advanced Cave. Cards were issued to divers to display to landowner their competency. Landowners gained confidence in the ability of the CDAA to produce safe divers and, as a result, the holes have remained open.
The main aims and objectives of the CDAA are to foster the development, advancement, promotion, mapping, education, exploration, conservation, safety and research of underwater caves and related features.
Jane Bowman and Warrick McDonald are both CDAA Advanced Cave Instructors and offer all levels of cave training. Are you interested in starting or continuing your cave diving? Why not join our next course!