Caver will 'never forget the sound' of water filling world's deepest cave
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A group of cavers at the bottom of the world's deepest cave had to fight to survive after water started to fill the hole, with one opening up about how it was a sound he'll never forget.
In September 2018 the group had been exploring the cave in the hopes of documenting unknown crevices and perhaps even discovering new species of animal which lurked in its dingiest depths.
But three days into their trip, disaster struck.
The group were stationed at the bottom of the 2,212-metre-deep Veryovkina Cave in Abkhazia, which is a breakaway region from Georgia, back in 2018 when they received an alarming warning of impending danger.
Two colleagues who were further up the cave issued a warning call to them that they were approaching the risk of gushing water, but the team initially weren't worried and thought they were safe.
It wasn't long before worry did kick in though, as a trickling sound near their tent grew louder and louder.
Caving is dangerous at the best of times, with the risk of becoming trapped or injured while a long way away from help increasing the danger. However, adding water into an enclosed space with no escape is a recipe for catastrophe.
One of the cavers - photographer Robbie Shone - recounted the moment the team first heard the water, explaining: "I just thought, ‘Oh my goodness. We have to leave right now. We cannot wait. If we just hang around, we’re all going to die.’
"The most enormous torrent of white water appeared out of this hole, and I just stood opened-mouthed at the sight of this huge white wall of water entering our little home.
“It got louder and louder. I will never forget that sound.”
The force of the water was so strong that Shone said it was like his head was being 'squashed into my shoulders' as it came gushing down onto him.
Shone added that 'all hell broke loose' as the group scrambled to leave the dangerous cave, which left them ditching all their gear and beginning the mile-long ascent to safety.
After being separated, the team managed to ascend to a camp stocked with food and medical supplies, though this only came after they pushed through a narrow shaft with a cascading torrent of water to a safer place. From there they managed to take the ascent to the complete safety of the surface.