A diving instructor from Wales has discovered a cave more than half a mile underground. Martyn Farr, 63, from Crickhowell, started diving the day of the discovery by plunging through a 350-feet-long underwater passage which led to an open cave system, filled with stalactites and stalagmites.
Carrying 65lbs of scuba equipment with him, he managed to swim, climb and explore his way through the system of underground tunnels before it bought him out into the stunningly naturally-beautiful cave system - something which he has affectionately nicknamed, 'Avalon Hall' after the legend of King Arthur.
Spending about nine hours of the dive underground, Farr captured footage of the place that he reckons no one else has ever found.
"œFinding something as special as Avalon Hall is very much every cave explorer's dream," said Martyn, adding, "œBeing the first to find something special or unique is quite an incredible feeling. I have never lost the passion for this. The name speaks volumes about the beauty and grandeur of the place."
"œIt's a challenge to find anything new and previously undiscovered or untrodden in the present age, but underground it is a different story," said the diving instructor. "œWe are constantly finding new stuff," he revealed, "œNow it's wide open and we have a system of passages running to over three miles in length - with many more miles still to come."
Avalon Hall is the latest find in a system of caves found near Takaka, located at the northern tip of New Zealand's beautiful South Island. The caves are thought to be draining to the famous Waikoropupu Spring system - home to the clearest spring water in the world, and a sacred treasure to the regional Maori tribe, who believe the water has healing properties.
Whilst Martyn might be getting used to discovering new land using his incredible talent for diving, does he have any advice for budding explorers? "œIf you are caving beyond a dive then you really must not get injured because you need to be fully mobile, fit and healthy to kit yourself up again and dive out. Drowning is the worst that can happen - the world of caves is packed with potential danger for those who are untrained or inexperienced. We all know this - so you should prepare thoroughly and take care. My philosophy in this respect is simple - Don't have the accident."
If you fancy having your own little adventure and looking to discover a new piece of land way under the sea, make sure you do so safely. Travel insurance which includes cover for scuba diving past respective depths, levels and caving is also highly recommended. Alpha's policies all come with the option of adding on activity packs which cover you for different levels of sports and activities, ensuring that should you choose to spend the majority of your travels learning how to dive, diving or exploring underground caves, you are covered should anything unfortunate happen - it's better to be safe than sorry!
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