Visiting facilitation for Subaquatic Speleologists

In the age of global travel, Subaquatic Speleologists often travel abroad to explore or to  visit ” must-see sites”.  Unfortunately, globalization makes halt in some countries where the obtention of a visa for the purpose is a difficult undertaking.

Thus the delegates at the 15th International Speleological Congress in Kerrville/Tx (USA)  have decided that every Speleological Federation member of the UIS would react positively when asked for a permission to explore or to visit a site in their country by any other Federation member of the UIS.

The authorization requests have to be issued by the UIS national delegate or the UIS cave diving delegate of the applying National Federation, with info-copy sent to the President of the Cave Diving Commission.

UIS training

For many Speleological Federations’ members of the UIS it is difficult – if not impossible – to organise structured cave diving courses for their affiliate members. And when such courses are offered by existing cave diving instructors, most Speleologists cannot afford them.

It has thus been decided in 2009 that the Cave Diving Commission will organise structured training courses, open to international participants.

A first course was held in Lebanon in September 2011.

The hosting Speleological Federation should be able to offer a suitable venue for the training course, with several caves within a reasonable distance. They should also supply trainees coming from abroad with the specific diving equipment, its carrying along being cumbersome and costly (air transportation). Furthermore, affordable boarding and lodging for the participants to be assured.

Accreditation as Underwater Caver

As a result of lack of understanding of its specificities, Speleological Exploration by the means of cave diving has become difficult or is on the verge to become impossible in some countries. To obtain authorizations, Subaquatic Speleologists are asked to present certification cards issued by recreational commercial cave diving agencies.

To distinguish our Speleological practice from the recreational form of cave diving, the commission during the 2009 International Congress in Kerville/Tx (USA) thus has adopted the term of “Subaquatic Speleology” (Subaquatic Speleologist and Underwater Caver) to designate Speleologists that explore caves and artificial cavities by the means of dive gear.

It has also been decided to implement a formal accreditation to endorse Subaquatic Speleologists facing such situations. This accreditation ”Habilitation as Underwater Caver” is delivered by the President of the Cave Diving Commission of the UIS upon request.

To substantiate their request, applicants should prove that they are proficient with the skills and techniques of cave diving commonly used in their home country, submitting a complete* application file to the cave diving delegate of their Speleological Federation who will approve or disapprove their request.

The approved application file will be transmitted by the delegate by email to the President of the Cave Diving Commission of the UIS who will then deliver the accreditation documents to the applicants without charging any fees.

*   The application file must document a.o. the number of dives, the name of the caves, depth, distance and time as well as the equipment used like OC Air-Mixed Gaz or Rebreather