Meet the divers attempting to determine how deep people can go

The others have been amazed. Some have been perturbed. “Everyone has to make this resolution for themself,” Stone advised me. “The Pearse Resurgence shouldn’t be a spot to experiment. While you go in there, you need to be utilizing gear and methods that you recognize are going to work at that depth. You don’t wish to be doing physiological experiments at 300 meters’ depth. That’s what killed all the different divers who went past 200 meters’ depth. So my recommendation to Harry and anyone else who desires to play this sport is similar as what I gave Exley: Go. To. A chamber. Simulate this primary.”

“The group was type of break up,” Menduno advised me. “I imply, all people was supportive of Harry, however there have been some individuals within the group that thought: You’re gonna die. Among the individuals within the group have been upset and nervous that their good friend was going to go off and do that factor and probably die.”

Across the first nook of the Pearse Resurgence, the sunshine disappears, as if the darkish partitions, black marble striated with veins of grey quartz, have absorbed it. The cave typically narrows a lot that when you stood, you possibly can contact the ceiling. Different elements billow out into monumental chambers. At one level, jagged fingers of rock bristle from the partitions. Different, deeper elements of the cave are clean and virtually completely spherical, damaged solely by darkish fissures that result in unexplored tunnels. 

As every part of the cave will get found, it receives a reputation. Happening in February 2023, Harris and Challen handed by way of the Nightmare Crescent, the Needlebender, the Gargleblaster, Weaver’s Ledge, the Massive Room, and at last the Brooklyn Exit. The water was 6 °C and completely clear. Except for the transient hisses and clicks of the rebreathers—the crackle of the solenoid triggering, the sigh of gases being pumped by way of the loop—there was an otherworldly silence.

At 120 meters, the cave opens up onto a plateau that drops off into an abyss. “At that time it’s like standing on the precipice,” Harris advised me. “And it looks like you might be actually starting the journey.” 

The abyss takes you down 50 meters by way of a vertical tunnel. By 170 meters, Harris may monitor the place he was on the map in his head, following acquainted rock formations. They needed to protect their power and forestall carbon dioxide buildup of their joints, so that they restricted their motion, counting on underwater scooters to maneuver. They slowly tied off at totally different factors within the descent, working round ropes left behind from dives previous, a few of which had been put in by Doolette 20 years earlier than. 

At 230 meters, Harris had achieved one thing no person had achieved earlier than—swimming freely to unimaginable depths and inhaling hydrogen.

Harris remembers that although his thoughts was absorbed with their strict plan, hypervigilant to any unusual noises from his rebreather that might imply failure, he took a second to pause, considering: “What if I by no means obtained to see this once more?” 

At 200 meters, Harris launched the hydrogen. For the subsequent 30 meters he gauged his physique’s response. He was calm, clearheaded, however much more, he seen that the sunshine tremors in his palms he often obtained at this depth, an early signal of high-pressure nervous syndrome, had disappeared. He appeared to Challen, who was utilizing helium, as he tied off the rope: his dive accomplice’s palms had a visual tremor. 

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