On January 8, 2005, famed deep cave diver Dave Shaw died while recovering the body of an amateur diver, Deon Dreyer, who had drowned in the cave while helping a team assembled by Nuno Gomes prepare for a dive ten years earlier. Dreyer's remains were located at a depth of over 800 feet (about 245 meters), and Shaw died while expending considerable effort as he attempted to place the body in a body bag. Shaw managed to fix his line at Deon's body before he was entangled within the same line and blacked out. Later on January 12, during the efforts of the crew to raise remaining diving cylinders, both bodies floated to the surface, much to the surprise of the recovery team.
Boesmansgat was believed to be first explored by amateur diver Mike Rathbourne in 1977.