Skip to comments.Father, son found dead in underwater cave
Posted on 12/27/2013 7:59:02 AM PST by driftdiverEdited on 12/27/2013 8:26:03 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
A Christmas Day cave diving excursion ended in tragedy in Weeki Wachee, Hernando County authorities said.
Two divers drowned in the popular Eagles Nest Sink location. Deputies say Darrin Spivey and his 15-year-old son, Dillon Sanchez, were testing diving equipment they received as Christmas presents.
(Excerpt) Read more at myfoxtampabay.com ...
Diving lesson #1 - never ‘test’ new diving equipment in an underwater cave.
Testing new equipment in cave diving - what stupidity!
Probably wasn’t the equipment that killed them. It was probably getting lost in the cave.
Its incredibly easy to do.
Sometimes you jusr have to say ‘no’.
Mercy, what a sweet lot you all aren’t.
I’ve seen the entrance to caves at about 80 feet. One had a sign with a skull and crossbones on it. The text said ‘stop or you will die’.
People without training still went past the sign, and yes some of them die.
I feel for the kid. I have nothing but contempt for the father. His ego killed them both.
I’ve seen the insides of caves in this area. Nothing in them is worth dying for.
I wouldn’t have agreed with you , until I read this.
“Deputies say Spivey was an experienced diver, but not a cave diver. Sanchez, however, was not a certified diver. “
They probably weren’t trained for the specialty of cave diving and like you said, got lost.
I’ve been in there, back when I was young and very stupid.
Cave diving requires special training. In beginning dive training they harp on you to never go into caves without training. It requires training and special equipment. Cave diving instructor would even even accept a kid that young for training. They simply dont have the experience to survive an incident.
One wrong kick of your fins and you stir up the much, turning the water from crystal clear to completely blind. They don’t have a reel on their suits in that picture. You have to strong a line from the entrance all the way. So you can follow the string back if you get lost.
Highly experienced cave divers die all the time.
There are lots of stories. People will stab others with their dive knife to get their air tank.
One lady, a very experienced cave diver, had a malfunction and then ran out of air. When they found her she had clawed at the rock with her fingers hard enough to rip the fingernails and flesh off the ends of her fingers.
Absolutely, but if you aren’t familiar with your equipment it adds another complication to an already extremely risky activity.
Heck I’ve always tested out new equipment in some of the spring fed lakes before doing an ocean dive, let alone taking them into a cave.
I taught SCUBA diving for years, but never had the opportunity to go cave diving. I would think it would be wise to carry a pony tank in case of emergency. I don’t know about navigation. I can navigate in the ocean with or without a compass using surge direction, sand ripples and pilotages, but what do you use in a cave? Cord?
I see you addressed navigation in #14.
I have been diving since 1994. I am NOT cave certified nor have and desire to get certified, and will not get anywhere NEAR an underwater cave!
Yeah, you string a cord from the entrance and put little plastic arrows on it to point the way out.
Hopefully you tie the cord properly and don’t lose it.
I don’t cave dive, but have talked to a lot of them. Im a rescue diver, adv, and nitrox but dont teach. Dont want to teach either but do help on occasion.
It gets old, always diving with a crowd. It's been many years since I've done it.
Yup, son not certified, Dad not experienced cave diver, etc.
I have no idea how I will die...... but it won’t be by drowning in an underwater cave! That creeps me out just thinking about it!
I live over in Spring Hill a few miles from there. The Darwin Awards should set up a field office at the cave entrance. The father might have figured it was safe to go down their because the underground water levels are low, (one reason, they say that their’s been sinkhole activity in the region.) Well this is a tragic example of why a little knowledge is dangerous
As in all diving where you cannot make a direct ascent special precautions have to be taken. Pony bottle is just one of them. Real cave divers have at least two independent regulators, two lamps, lots of extra gas etc etc. And still a number of divers diving in caves die each year.
What stupidity! I’ve caved for over 30 years but have never cave dived. I don’t even do scuba. All I know, is I get the NSS accident reports every year and the thing is full of cave diving fatalities. Looks like this idiot father with no cave diving certification and his kid will make it in their this year.
Cave diving like wreck diving is done with training and in small steps as the diver gains experience. Even spelunkers (dry cave explorers) get lost and disoriented, add a limited air supply and you increase the danger almost exponentially, especially for the inexperienced.
However, I will rise (gingerly) to the defense of the father! It is not beyond belief that he went in after an all too bold 15-yo! Yes, it was his fault to choose a place where such misadventure was possible, but do not assume he was the instigator. In tragedies like this, take away the lesson but do not speak unnecessary ill of the dead!
Like pilots, divers need to respect their limits and keep well away from them.
There are old divers,
there are bold divers,
there are passingly few (if any) old, bold divers!
I see cave divers at the springs. Many with have three of everything. Depending on how deep they plan to go they will stage tanks along the route.
I guess that’s possible but in m y experience I wouldn’t bet on it. For one the father shouldn’t have taken his son diving until the oid was trained.
Except the father was twice as deep as the son.
Lots of last names in that family.
There is essentially no margin for error in cave diving—dabble and die. Even people who know what they’re doing get it from time to time. It has a longstanding reputation for being just about the most dangerous recreational activity. Though tragic, this is Darwin Award material. These guys basically asked for it.
someone inexperienced in diving in underwater caves should never venture a dive into an underwater cave except with an experienced underwater diver and only when that diver has experience in that cave - you need an experienced guide, someone who has previously made it safely in and back out
otherwise, it’s like asking for trouble
‘Cave-diving’ is almost as exhilarating as hydroelectric dam inlet diving. What a rush, Man...../s
Hell I don’t even get near above water caves!!!
How come father and son have different sur names ?
One of the side effects of all the "idiot warnings" on too many things is that some people routinely ignore all warnings.
I agree with your statement but for some reason I believed this one. 80 feet under water, the surface of which was about 40 feet under ground level. To reach it you had to swim through a maze of boulders the size of cars and limestone with holes the size of your head. Fossils galore and dark since there was limited sunlight.
Maybe I’m chicken but I believed it. Even have a picture of it around here somewhere.
I have no idea why the above would appeal to anybody.
I got my open water certification at “Vortex Springs” somewhere in the panhandle when I was 14. My brother was with me and he was 13. The cave entrance is probably 100 feet off the end of the dock and 100 feet down. Water is so clear you can see the cave entrance standing on the dock when there aren’t many divers.
I was one of the last to dive that day and the lead instructor took me down. Went into the entrance of the cave. Could hardly see for the silt. He gives me the sign to buddy breath. So we pass the regulator back and forth as he leads me out of the cave. I thought we were training. Get out of the cave and he hits my BCP and up we go. We hit the surface and I tell him “WHF? We weren’t down 5 minutes?”
He says “I ran out of air”. Never told my Dad. He’d have probably killed the guy.
Things can go bad pretty quickly. Prayers for the dead divers.
Diving is great. Fish, the sun, boats and girls in bikinis. Its incredibly relaxing.
Cave diving is another animal.
A good friend of mine owns the local dive shop and has been diving since the early 1980’s or earlier. He is probably one of the best divers in the world. He certified to train every certification PADI has to offer including cave and Wreck diving. Which is basicly the same thing. He told me when you cave dive you take two of everything. When you enter a cave or wreck you use 1/3 of you air going in and have 2/3’s to get out with.
That is what I was taught. When I help teach a dive class that is what I tell my students.