South African sets new women’s deep cave diving record

Posted on 8 April 2021

The Boesmansgat Cave found in the Northern Cape province has an altitude of over 1,500 metres which makes diving in it extremely challenging.

South African, Karen Van den Oever sets new women's deep cave diving record

Karen Van den Oever descended to 236.04 meters in this cave and managed to beat the previous women’s deep cave diving record by 15 meters. The dive lasted for seven hours and 18 minutes and although she was nervous and anxious on days leading up to the dive, Van den Oever says as soon as she got into the water her focus was on the dive and nothing else.

‘You are truly present only in that moment with complete focus on the task at hand.’ she says.

Van Den Oever started diving in 2001 while on vacation in the Eastern Cape. She later met Nuno Gomes and Verna van Schaik while she was an active member and committee member of the Wits Underwater Club.

In 1996 Nuno Gomes set the men’s record by diving to a depth of 282.6 meters, and on November 24 2004, Verna van Schaik set the Guinness Woman’s World Record for the deepest dive diving to a depth of 221 metres.

Van den Oever says meeting the two divers and listening to their encounters and their journeys to becoming world record holders inspired her to move into technical diving and that ‘it was then that the seed was planted – maybe I too could one day attempt the women’s world record.’

Van den Oever strongly believes that hard work, determination and discipline can help anyone reach their goals.

‘For anyone that has a dream or goal – it takes a lot of hard work and discipline to make it a reality, but the journey is very rewarding. Don’t give, especially when things get tough; it’s not meant to be easy.’ Van den Oever she said.

PICTURE: Facebook




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