Donald Cerrone is one of my favorite MMA fighters ever. If you haven’t seen him fight, go Google his highlights now, and you’ll get the picture.
Besides the fact I love his fighting style, I love the fact he does a lot of Adventure/Extreme Sports I like to do as well. One of these is obviously Scuba Diving, and Donald’s last cave dive almost didn’t end well.
From his Instagram post:
“Today I can honestly say I’m Happy to be alive. We had catastrophic worst case scenario on our dive. Total silt out , lost the cave line and lost my buddy couldn’t see my own hands was the most scariest moment to this day in my life. I remember kissing Danger and Lindsay and saying I’ll see y’all soon, don’t worry daddy’s coming home!!!! Told the grim reaper “ Not today Mother Fucker “ I’m figuring this the fuck out and coming home !!”
Donald Cerrone cave diving story
Donald starts the story by explaining how he got certified in cave diving while in high school, and that he is a very experienced diver. Loves caves, loves wreck diving.
He was diving with an old buddy who also has a lot of experience cave diving, and they were diving in Cozumel, Mexico. A buddy is a bit older and not as sharp anymore, apparently.
Talking to his girlfriend before the dive, she was worried, and he took an extra cylinder of air, just in case, to go along with the regular two he carries.
So they go into the cave, and his buddy raises the silth with his fins and gets wrapped around the (guiding) line, and starts panicking. Since the sediment arouse, nothing is visible anymore, and Donald starts panicking as well. There is zero vision. Since he lost the line, he is trying to find his way with a compass but hits a wall on every route he takes.
”As soon as I go into the silt I lose everything. Where I am, my up, my down. I don’t know where I am, I’m panicking now. I’m freaking out more than anything ever. Bang, I hit my head on the ceiling and I just close my eyes and I’m like ‘Goddamn, Cowboy, calm the f**k down, calm the f**k down, calm the f**k down. Breathe.”
He accidentally finds the main line, but still can’t get out, because there is zero visibility. So he turns off the light after he sees a crack he recognizes and follows it blindly and eventually does get out. Basically, by sheer luck.
Scuba Confidential – one of the best books on Scuba Diving I picked up in the last few years
“Scuba Confidential” is a great listen. The topics covered are ranging from prerequisites for a technical diver to advice on air consumption, solo diving, rebreathers, and much more. Simon has been a scuba professional for decades, and it shows in his views and principles, which he effortlessly passes on to the reader.
It is not another training manual, but rather a unique and interesting blend of subjects any diver will be interested in. This was probably my favorite read on scuba diving.
His buddy is out there waiting, and as he sees him, he asks: ‘So we’re not diving together again ever, are we?’
– ‘No, that was it.’”.
You can check the whole story as Donald tells it himself in more detail on the JRE podcast.
Did “Cowboy” do the right thing? What would you do in this situation?
Returning to the cave
About a year later, Donald returned to the cave and performed a successful dive.
* Images source: www.instagram.com/cowboycerrone/