Swildons Sump 2 Dive Line (Also posted in CSCC forum)

Ed W

Dear Southern Cavers,

Reports were recently received that the bolt securing the downstream end of the line through Sump 2 IN Great Bell in Swildons Hole is in a poor state. Upon examination, the bolt hanger was found to be loose but the bolt itself secure (to the point of being impossible to move with a spanner) in the spit. Given the free movement of the hanger, it is expected that it is worn, but without removing it impossible to say how badly.

Plans are afoot to replace the bolt, probably in the spring when the water is a little warmer and lower. In the meantime please exercise caution, especially if free diving and when heading downstream. Failure of the bolt, which is considered unlikely but is a possibility, would lead to the downstream end of the rope coming free and causing a potentially serious hazard, especially to free divers. CSCC will be grateful for any observations of deterioration if you are heading that way.

Stay Safe,

Ed Waters (CSCC Chair)


By way of update, I have been down tonight and backed up the dive line to the next bolt in St John's Bell.

In the unlikely event that the anchor fails, the unobservant freediver may find themselves immersed for longer than expected, but the line would bring them safely to surface before Sump 3.

A glance upwards after passing the old end of the line would reveal the air surface, just where it usually is.