The first exploration of Ora cave (that we know of) took place in 1972-73. Back then, continued exploration was thwarted by the lack of suitable equipment to cross this huge thundering river. It would have to wait for a later date, and so over 3 decades later we went prepared for some epic river crossings. Some of us had even been on a white water training course, which was held at night, to give it that in-cave feel. To cross this river (and many others), our strongest swimmer, Jean-Paul Sounier, would start a good 50 metres upstream of where he finally wanted to be. He’d then swim aggressively towards the other side with a rope tied to him, all the time being swept downstream with the current.
Once he’d made it, he’d tie off the rope so that the rest of us could cross the river. Using this method we could push the limit of exploration further than what had been achieved by the original explorers.