FORGET THE FINS! How to dive in Marie Agnes mine?

Marie Agnes Dive Site

Marie Agnes is a unique dive site known for its narrow corridors, making it challenging to navigate using fins. We recommend using a French configuration, which involves weight belts and two side cylinders, instead of a classical sidemount harness or twin setup. It’s important to note that despite its small size, this site can be very dangerous due to rapidly dropping visibility and narrow passages. Therefore, only certified full-cave divers should enter.

One at a Time

One advantage of diving at Marie Agnes is that if you’re the only diver or group diving, you can park your car near the adit mouth. However, if there are other divers present, it’s best to wait for the next day. After each dive, the silt in the water significantly reduces visibility. Additionally, the site is too small for two teams to dive simultaneously.

Getting Inside

Now, let’s discuss how to transport your gear into the mine. Despite its appearance, it’s not as difficult as it seems. The adit mouth is only about 1m high (3ft), requiring you to squeeze through. Some prefer to carry one cylinder at a time, while others use small 4l sidemount cylinders and enter fully equipped, heading straight to the water. Once you pass the narrow entrance, the height inside is around 180-200cm. However, be cautious as the tunnels are irregular. At the beginning, you’ll encounter a T-junction – take the left turn and proceed about 50m down the corridor. This will lead you to a chamber that provides access to the main vertical shaft, where you will begin your dive.

Main Shaft and Left Corridor

Begin descending through the main shaft. Once you reach the bottom (10m/30ft), enter the left (short) corridor. Take note of the wooden reinforcement above your head, which serves as a platform for storing excavated materials. You can either return the same way or try to squeeze through a very narrow opening above the wooden ceiling. Keep in mind that you may need to push your cylinders in front of you.

Right Corridor and Exit

Next, explore the right-side corridor starting from the lower one at the very bottom. Once again, you’ll notice wooden reinforcement above you. At the end of the short corridor, you’ll ascend through a timber winch construction used for material extraction. Now, you can explore the longest corridor at a depth of approximately 6m (18ft). This is also where the tunnel reaches its maximum height, around 3m (9ft). When finished, turn around and retrace your path, passing the wooden winch on your right-hand side. You’ll soon reach the main shaft, where it’s time to slowly ascend to the surface.

‍Enjoy your dives and stay safe!