Caves and flooded environments: speleo scuba divers

The CNSAS speleo scuba divers

Since its establishment, the speleological rescue component of the CNSAS questioned itself about an hypothetical rescue to be carried out in flooded environments or in caves with subsequent development into wells and siphons with presence of water.

In 1984 the members of the CNSAS, which also dealt with cave diving, gave life to the Commissione Nazionale Speleosubacquea, or speleo-scuba Commission, of the CNSAS to develop and improve diving techniques in underground environments studied for years.

Since then, a long path of training and experimentation has led speleologists of the CNSAS to be an indisputable reference point for rescue organizations engaged in underwater environments in caves, natural and artificial sites.

The CNSAS speleo scuba divers technicians are the only one – in Italy – to carry high-level rescue in hypogeal sites, with operations that can be implemented well below -40 meters, with peaks reached in exercise close to -100.

The current Underwater Commission is made up of 40 technicians distributed throughout the national territory. Specialized technicians, who operate in all the aquatic environments in confined or free waters: siphons, found de trou, resurgences, wrecks, lakes, rivers, artificial works.

A functioning guaranteed by the adoption of the most recent techniques and technologies such as closed circuit breathing systems (CCR), underwater propulsion systems, masks and respirators tested and approved over the years by the national speleo-scuba Commission of the CNSAS.

In order not to lose its medical assistance mandate, even this specialization of the CNAS features among its technicians some doctors able to operate directly in the accident sites, even on pathologies linked to hyperbaric medicine.

Recently, an hyperbaric chamber transportable with helicopter (Centro Iperbarico Mobile or mobile hyperbaric center) has been realized – with a dedicated vehicle – and some of its technicians have been trained for its functioning.

The speleo-scuba Commission has also been employed in Protezione Civle events at national and international level, as well as in successfully carried out underwater rescue missions in underground environments, both in Italy and abroad.