Max Kostyashkin ‘17 experiences cavern diving at Ginnie Springs

Mr. Davenport and Max Kostyashkin ‘17

Over the weekend of March 25th and 26th, Max Kostyashkin ‘17, who is a Master Diver in the Scuba program, traveled to the cave diving capital of the world in North Central Florida to take a Cavern Diving course. The course is taught by Scott Davenport, former Scuba Diving Instructor at Admiral Farragut Academy, who relocated to the Gainesville area.

“The Cavern Diving course is one of the most challenging courses a diver can take,” said Mr. Davenport. “It requires exceptional dive skills far beyond even the most experienced divers.”

The training was conducted in the cave systems on the property of Ginnie Springs. Max’s surface training consisted of lectures and practice involving advanced diving physics, physiology, hydrogeology, and line drills. In the water, Max spent the majority of the time practicing for worse case scenarios which typically involved him having to do an enormous amount of task loading, while staying neutrally buoyant with horizontal trim, and with his eyes shut. “He had to swim around and follow a line while doing different tasks such as being out of air and sharing air with another diver,” Mr. Davenport continued.

Cavern diving is the first step in a four step process to become a full Cave Diver. The Cavern diver is allowed to penetrate the cave only in the daylight zone. Max made dives in three caverns (Ginnie Springs, Devil’s Eye, and Devil’s Ear) during his two day training.

Scott Davenport, Patrick Hales ’17, Clayton Lamm ’17, Saiya Wang ’14 (AFA alumni, junior at UF), and Max Kostyashkin ’17.