Cave Diving Expedition – Loei April 2012

In April 2012 a team of five from Ban's Technical Diving drove north from Ko Tao to investigate some springs and flooded caves in Loei region. A couple of blog posts describe what they discovered.
The first blog reports on their investigation of the popular swimming and picnic area at Nam Phut Thap Lao in the Pha Phueng Wildlife Sanctuary to the south of Khon San, Chaiyaphum province. This vauclusian spring had previously been dived in 1999 to a depth of 18 m by Matt London. The April 2012 dives were the first since the original exploration and London's finding were confirmed – the cave narrows at -18 m with the passage possibly opening up beyond. However, the strong flow and zero visibility make this a difficult dive site. There are other vauclusian springs in the area (Nam Phut Hin Lat, Nam Phut Na Lao, Nam Phut Nam Un, Nam Phut Na Wong Duan and Nam Phut Sai), but at none of these sites is there passage large enough to insert a diver.
The second blog is about the team's exploration of a flooded cave, Tham Nam Pu, in Loei province. Surface exploration found two entrances into the cave and these entrances were linked by a 200 m dive. From the second, dry, entrance the flooded passage continues and a further 150 m of line was laid in this upstream direction.
As Tham Nam Pu has a lot of potential for further exploration the team are planning to return in 2013.