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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Divers head for new depth record
Rick Stanton (left) and John Volanthen
The pair developed their own breathing apparatus
Two cave divers have set a new British depth record at Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset.

Rick Stanton and John Volanthen went more than a mile into caverns, clearing gravel and rock in their way before reaching a depth of 76m.

The previous record of 71m was set in Speedwell Cavern in Derbyshire in 2003.

"We wear a computer which shows us the depth," said Mr Stanton. "We both have records that show our depth was 76 metres."

Longer periods

"If you compare us to mountain climbers - even an unclimbed peak - they know everything about it," he added.

"Even when they went to the moon, they had a map and knew everything that would surround them.

"Yet here we have no idea what's going to happen around the next bend."

Mr Stanton, a 43-year-old firefighter from Coventry, was involved in the rescue of 13 British cavers in Mexico earlier this year.

Together with Mr Volanthen, a 33-year-old Bristol-based engineer, the pair developed a "rebreather" unit to allow them to stay underwater for longer periods.

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