Best tips on cave safety?
Singer: So, number one, if you’re inexperienced you don’t go by yourself. That’s really dumb for someone to go into a dark-lit place, alone, where you don’t know the curves. People have been dying in caves since man first went, ‘oh, this is a neat shelter’ 40,000 years ago. That’s what I call natural selection. That’s a biologist joke. And two, if you do go with an experienced person, also always let three other people know when you’re in and when you’re out.
What people can do is, if they’re really interested in going caving, just always go with a guide. If you work in accounting and that’s what you do and you want to go caving on the weekends and you don’t know shit about a cave, don’t be all, ‘oh, found a sinkhole behind my buddy’s house, gonna go dive in there by myself.’ ‘Oh, we can make it through there.’ Which is dumb. That’s just dumb. We see it all the time, though.
If you’re just out in a field and you find a cave, don’t go in! You don’t know what’s living in there, you’re probably on someone else’s property. But if you’re on your own property [and you’ve taken precautions] by all means, be American, go check it out.
And caves that might flood?
Singer: If you see water getting higher, you should leave immediately. If you can’t, then get to higher ground. The main point is that if you don’t know how close you are to the exit anymore, go back. Be observant -- if you see anything changing, ‘oh, this is not how this spot looked 15 minutes ago,’ that’s definitely a red flag.
When Hurricane Harvey hit, we had about a 45-foot rise. There’s an old dam at the entrance of the cave that’s like 50 feet across and 30 feet high, so the water rose over that and then it rose another 15 feet -- that’s how we could tell the water level from outside the cave -- so it’s like, ‘ohhh shit, well, we have no control over that.’