Pannikin Plain Cave
Pannikin Plain Cave Expedition Disaster Inspired the movie "Sanctum"
The Movie "Sanctum" was mostly fiction, but the premise was based on fact. There was an actual diving party who were trapped in an underwater cave due to a storm blocking the entrance. It happened in 1988 at Pannikin Plains Cave. This lens explores some of the real facts and a little of the movie too.
The area the cave is in is an area of Australia called "Nullarbor" We'll take a look at some of the interesting facts about the area too.
Photo from "Sanctum"
Andrew Wight's Story
Of the Original Diving Team's experience in 1988
"Like Water Spiraling down an open plug hole" is the way Andrew Wight describes the water cascading down into the Pannikin Plain Cave when hit by a major storm with he and his crew inside. The cave they were exploring that day is part of a long and intricate system of caves beneath the Australian Desert area known as Nullarbor.
The collapsed entrance left those trapped (along with some help from those above) with the tedious task of finding another way out of the cave. They had a radio with them Ron Allum had built especially for communicating through the underground cave system. Their pre-arranged time to communicate via the radio came, and then is when they knew their team members below were alright. It was a frightening time, taking the team 6 grueling hours to make their way out of a still unstable system.
via National Geographic Blog
Pannikin Plain Cave and other Australian Dive sites - Featured in this book
Cocklebilly Cave - Near the Pannikin Plain Cave
Books on Nullarbor
The true Nullarbor is the light tan semi-circular area adjacent to the coast
A Place Like No Other - Nullarbor Desert
Covering 77,000 Square Miles, the Nullarbor hosts the worlds largest single piece of limestone.
The area is thought to be an ancient sea bed.
Nullarbor Boot Tree - A Cultural PhenomenonClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sanctum: The Movie - Trailer
Good Movie! The plot to the movie is much more complicated than the actual event. Plenty of twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat!
Sanctum: The Movie
Cave of Swallows, Mexico - Where Sanctum was actually shot
More About the Movie and the Cave
- WA cave drama hits big screen - The West Australian
Western Australia is famous for great beaches, cold beer and long, hot summers.
- The 7.30 Report - ABC
A real-life survival story written by an Australian cinematographer is the inspiration for Hollywood director James Camerons latest film