I was unable to find a figure specific to the US, but an average of 20 cave divers die annually world wide. More than 400 people have died in cave diving related incidents.
Fatalities used to be very high in the 70s, to which the community responded with increased training and postings. In the 70’s the fatalities were about 25 per year and in the late 90s, they were about 5 per year.
Also, 40 % of the fatalities were while the person was wearing a rope, and 60% without. According to the data collected from 50s – late 90s, almost 6 times more fatalities occur in the USA vs. foreign countries. Most victims are not certified. Deaths among fully trained cave divers is often due to excessive depth and pressure.
Other causes of fatality among trained cave divers: advanced equipment, air rule, cave in, entanglement, gas mix problem, heart attack, hypothermia, line gap, maintenance, solo diving, while training, drugs and gear removal. Check out the link.
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