Robotic Exploration Discovered Deepest Underwater Cave

Robotic Exploration Discovered Deepest Underwater Cave

Oct 2, 2016 @ 14:56 | 

This discovery by the Krzysztof Starnawski and team along with ROV beats the previous record holder, 392-meter (1,286-foot) Pozzo del Merro in Italy, by 12 meters (39 feet).

A team of explorers led by the legendary Polish diver Krzysztof Starnawski in the Czech Republic has just discovered the world’s deepest underwater cave measuring at least 404 meters (1,325 feet) deep.

Polish explorer Krzysztof Starnawski has been tried several time over the last 20 years but never been able to measure beyond a depth of 370 metres (1,214). Starnawski first explored this Czech cave, named Hranická Propast, in 1999.

But this time, during the expedition carried out on September 27, the exploration team employed a remotely-operated underwater robot (ROV) to explore the deeper, narrower depths of the cave.

Custom-built ROV made by GRALmarine is used to explore the cave as deep as possible.

Related Articles:

“My intention was not to achieve the deepest dive by a human, but to assist the exploration by the ROV. In this cave we wanted to explore beyond the 400-meter limit. It can’t be done, so far, by a scuba diver in the cave. So I invited Bartlomiej Grynda from GRALmarine, with his custom-built ROV, to send the robot as deep as possible to explore the cave. The results were astonishing.” explorer Krzysztof Starnawski said to National Geographic in an interview.

This discovery beats the previous record holder, 392-meter (1,286-foot) Pozzo del Merro in Italy, by 12 meters (39 feet). 

The most important part of the mission, deep exploration was done by the robot. Starnawski scuba dived down to 200 meters just before the ROV’s deployment to put in the new line for the robot to follow. The goal was to give the ROV a good start from there to the deepest part of the cave.

Deepest Underwater Cave
Krzysztof Starnawski (left) and Bartlomiej Grynda navigate the ROV to the bottom of Hranická Propast cave, Czech Republic.

Again team went down with the ROV to a depth of 60 meters (197 feet) to deploy it, from there, the team at the surface navigated it, via fiber-optic cable, down along my new line to 200 meters deep. Then it went down to explore the uncharted territory—to the record-breaking depth of 404 meters.

The depth gauge measures 404 meters ROV reach that was tested and certified by state commission.

“But robots do not do the job instead of us. We, the humans, are still needed to show them where to go.” Starnawski said to National Geographic in the interview.

Some of the world’s other deep dives:

  1. Pozzo del Merro in Italy (392 metres)
  2. Zacaton in Mexico (339 metres)
  3. Vrelo Cave in Macedonia (330 metres)
  4. Boesmansgat in South Africa (270 metres)
  5. Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas (202 metres)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *