What is the Difference Between a Cavern and Cave Diver?

Media Reports

There are several key differences between cavern and cave diving.

Cavern diving usually takes place at the mouth of a cave. While there are overhead obstacles, the environment is still illuminated by daylight.


The National Speleological Society’s Cave Diving Section (NSS-CDS) defines cavern diving as diving in an open area that receives direct sunlight, is no deeper than 70 feet, and is within 130 linear feet of the cave entrance.

Basically, cavern diving is a daytime activity that isn’t too far removed from open water diving.

Cave divers, however, can dive miles underwater, and go into areas without natural light, as well as limited water visibility.


Another main difference between the two is that one is an extreme sport, while the latter, cave diving, is a specialty qualification that only the top 1% of divers can attain.

Equipment-wise, cavern and cave divers also differ widely, but we’ll go into greater detail a bit later.

Finally, cave divers have specialist terms for clear water and murky water dives - spring and sump.