Cave Diving for Dummies

By Brian Moakley May 16, 2022

In Mexico, there’s an unassuming water body that also just happens to contain an unassuming crocodile. Yet under the hungry croc is an extensive underwater cave system that expands for miles. This cave system is known as Cenote “El Aerolito”.

It was recently made famous when a famous MMA competitor, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, decided to take a swim and almost died in the process. The story as told by Cerrone sounds like a tale of epic survival, but when presented to experts in the cave diving field, the story comes across … a little fishy.

First off, I know nothing about Cerrone. He seems to be a guy who likes fighting people and wearing cowboy hats. But he also enjoys underwater adventures which is kind of cool.

The YouTube channel, Scary Interesting, documents his adventure and it sounds terrifying. When exploring the underwater cave, he loses his friend, gets lost in silt, and gets completely disoriented to the point where he’s low on oxygen. It’s a gripping tale.

After watching the video, I started going through the comments. Over and over again, I found references to another YouTube channel called Dive Talk run by professional cave divers. Evidently, Cerrone shared underwater adventure with Joe Rogan and Dive Talk produced a reaction video.

It’s a fascinating video because it features two cave divers who listen to Cerrone’s story. Needless to say, they aren’t impressed with his recounting. They basically see it as a story about what to “not to do” in such a situation and why a standard operating procedure is critical in a life or death environment.

It’s worth a watch to see how the “fiction” of the story runs up against the reality of it. It’s also really cool to learn about cave diving in general.

By Brian Moakley

Brian Douglas Moakley is a writer and technologist who lives amongst the quiet hills in New England. When not reading tales of high adventure, he is often telling such stories to all who will listen.

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