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I just received the latest Safety Buletin from the Mexico - Q.Roo Safety Officers. All inquiries should be directed to them.

saludos
Matt

Q.Roo Safety Officers Newsletter Dec 2006

Fellow Cavern / Cave Divers welcome to the Q.Roo Safety Officers Newsletter.
The newsletter this month has information on the following topics:

1. Response to the last QRSOC Bulletin
2. Unauthorized Line Changes
3. Repair to permanent cave line in Chac Mool
4. Cenote Calimba Collapse
5. The Calimba / Grand Cenote Snap & Gap
6. Dos Ojos
7. QRSOC Projects for 2007

Please feel free to forward this newsletter on to anyone you feel may be interested in it. Any questions, comments or suggestions concerning the newsletter should be sent via email
to: qroocavesafety@hotmail.com

Please note that responses to the monthly newsletter will not be addressed on a personal basis or by a particular individual, but on a board level after being discussed among the Safety Officers and will be posted in the following months newsletter.

If you are not receiving this email newsletter directly and wish to be added to our mailing list please send an email with your full name and the word subscribe in the subject line. If you wish to be removed from the mailing list please send an email to with your full name and the word unsubscribe in the subject line. Thank you for your interest and help in making Cavern and Cave diving in Quintana Roo safer and more enjoyable for all.

Q.Roo Safety Officers Committee
qroocavesafety@hotmail.com

GUE Safety Officer Daniel Riordan
IANTD Safety Officer Scott Carnahan
NACD Safety Officer Chuck Stevens
NACD & NSSCDS Safety Officer Isla Cozumel German Yanyez Mendoza
NSS-CDS Safety Officer Steve Bogart’s

Response to the last QRSOC Bulletin

The last QRSOC bulletin concerned unauthorized line changes.

Unfortunately one particular individual seems intent on changing as many lines and permanent line markers as possible and several major unauthorized line changes have been made in a number of caves recently.

The QRSOC has received information from a number of sources identifying the person responsible for making these changes. This has been a long-standing problem with this individual over a number of years.

The QRSOC has several projects planned, but unfortunately for the past several months all our efforts have been focused on returning lines and markers to their original position. The QRSOC has contacted the person responsible on several occasions to ask them to stop making these unauthorized changes. Unfortunately this has only resulted in this individual making more changes to be deliberately provocative.

Having tried to address the problem directly with no success the QRSOC is now taking further action in an attempt to stop this selfish and dangerous behavior that demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the whole cave diving community here in Quintana Roo. As the individual concerned is a cave diving instructor the QRSOC has decided to approach the cave training agencies to ask them to step in and take a leadership role in this matter.

As well as outlining the current problem the QRSOC has compiled an extensive file with incidents dating back over almost 10 years involving the same individual. This file has been sent to the agencies so that they are fully aware of the situation here in Mexico and have as much information as possible at their disposal when deciding
on how to address this issue.

The QRSOC is asking that the agencies suspend this individual’s instructor status until he has stopped making these changes and has made a written statement agreeing to make no further unauthorized changes on pain of expulsion. Should this individual refuse to comply then we are asking the training agencies to expel
him permanently.

The next QRSOC newsletter will include an update on the response of each of the training agencies to this issue. We would ask all of you to please remain vigilant and report any changes to the QRSOC together with any information about the person or persons responsible.

We would like to thank those of you who have sent information to date and are supporting us in our efforts to maintain consistency in the guidelines and permanent markers.

Should anyone feel a change is needed to the permanent lines or markers for whatever reasons then the following procedure should be used:

1. Contact the Quintana Roo Safety Officers Committee
2. The proposed change will be sent out via an e-mail newsletter to as many people within
the local cave diving community as is possible and opinions canvassed.
3. A decision about any change will be made based upon the majority view.
4. If a change is deemed necessary the safety officer committee will coordinate it, advance notice will be given of the exact change to take place and the date on which it will be made.
5. Upon completion of the change notification will be posted on the website and via the newsletter and will also be posted at the start of the relevant permanent line/s and on site at the relevant Cenote/s.


Unauthorized Line Changes

Cenote Maya Blue

The Gold line in B Tunnel Maya Blue has been rerouted into E Tunnel on 3 separate occasions since September 2006. No notification of any change has been made either before or after on any of the occasions.
These unauthorized changes were reported to the QRSOC and the line and line markers returned to their original condition each time.
The individual responsible for making these repeated changes obviously cares little for either cave diver safety or cave conservation.

Nohoch Nah Chich

The main upstream line in Nohoch Nah Chich was recently replaced with gold line. This was an unauthorized change to a line that was in excellent condition and was not in need of replacement or repair.

Again the individual responsible for this change did not bother to notify the QRSOC or wider cave diving community about this change either before or after it was made.

Placing a gold line in Nohoch is an extremely controversial decision and many cave divers are adamantly opposed to gold line being installed at this location for reasons of both safety and conservation. At the very least most local cave divers would have preferred to have been consulted before such a decision was taken and then informed of when any change was to have been made.

Again the QRSOC has an established protocol, which involves consulting the cave diving community about planned changes and also giving advance notification when changes are going to be made together with posting information about the change at the relevant dive sites.

Failure to follow this procedure demonstrates the contempt that this individual holds not just fro the QRSOC but for all the rest of the local cave diving community as a whole.

The QRSOC has returned some of the line to its original condition and we expect to replace all of it within a few days. Both the QRSOC and the landowner ask that the line is not changed again.

Cenote Xtabay (Chikin Ha Area)

The permanent cave line beginning in Cenote Xtabay, which heads downstream towards the gold line circuit from Cenote Eden (Ponderosa) known as the River Run, was changed recently without the landowner’s permission or consent. Mr. David Ku Sᮣhez (landowner) wrote a complaint letter about this change to the QRSOC. The QRSOC has returned the line to its original condition as of Tuesday 25th December 2006 and both the QRSOC and the landowner ask that the line is not changed again.

Repair to the downstream permanent cave line in Chac Mool

The start of the permanent downstream gold line in Chac Mool was in a very poor condition due to heavy diver traffic and wear on this guideline as this is a popular location for zero visibility touch contact training drills. The QRSOC has replaced the worn section with new line.

Collapse of Cenote Calimba Sistema Sac Actun

At this time the landowner at Cenote Calimba has heavy machinery working on his property. It is with sadness that we report that the unique and beautiful entrance to Cenote Calimba has collapsed blocking access to the water. Currently it is impossible to exit the water here if entering from another Cenote. Please adjust your dive plans so you can enter/exit through Grand Cenote or Cenote Hotul avoiding the area of the cave close to the Calimba entrance that may well be unstable and
prone to further collapse.

Warning slates in Spanish and English have been placed at the start of the Grand Cenote / Cenote Hotul line and at the start of the Paso De Largato line. The QRSOC will give further updates as more information becomes available or if the situation changes.

The Calimba / Grand Cenote Snap & Gap Intersection

Due to the current situation with the collapse at Cenote Calimba preventing entrance or exit there it has been decided for safety reasons to make the following changes to the permanent lines at this intersection. The upstream Paso De Largarto line will be made continuous. The line to Calimba will be cut back to a jump and a warning slate will be placed at the start of the line.
The direction of the permanent line arrows currently pointing to Calimba will also be changed to point back to Grand Cenote / Cenote Hotul, including the T past the Calimba jump. This change will be made on January 11, 2007.

Dos Ojos

The QRSOC in collaboration with the Ejido Jacinto Pat will be replacing both of the cavern lines in Dos Ojos since both of them show signs of wear on multiple areas due to the heavy traffic they see. We are planning to make a few changes to the routing of the lines to make the traffic flow easier to manage. The specifics of changes and dates when
the change will take place will be notified through a bulletin and posted at the entrance booth to Dos Ojos.

QRSOC Projects for 2007

The QRSOC would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked with us to help maintain permanent line and line marker consistency. Also we would like to thank everyone who has reported concerns, sent emails with ideas or votes and every diver who has continued to follow and promote Safe Cave Diving Practices
here in Mexico. In the coming year we hope to continue working with the local Cavern and Cave diving community and Landowners in several new projects that the QRSOC has planned.

As well as continuing with our current projects and goals the QRSOC will be replacing worn / damaged Cavern Lines in several popular Cavern diving locations. More of the Cavern diving safety and information surface signs will be installed at various popular Cavern diving locations and several of the underwater warning signs will be repaired or replaced.

Finally the QRSOC would like to wish everyone safe and happy Cavern / Cave diving in 2007.


Quintana Roo Safety Officers Committee