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May 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 40, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Final Report of a Father and Son’s Cave-Diving Deaths

from the May, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In our January issue, we wrote about the sad but foolish deaths of Darren Spivey and his 15-year-old son, Dillon Sanchez , who went cave diving at Florida's Eagles Nest Sink on Christmas Day and didn't make it out alive. The Hernando County Sherriff's Office has determined that they died accidentally after their tanks ran out of air. Their computers showed they dived down to 233 feet on compressed air, far beyond safe limits. It's believed that Spivey and Sanchez, neither of whom were certified in cave diving, lost track of time while exploring the caverns. Because Spivey's regulator was not in his mouth, rescue divers assumed that Sanchez ran out of air, and his father attempted to buddy breathe with him. They also believed Sanchez panicked and attempted to swim to the surface, as he did not have his mouthpiece intact and his mask was around his neck. His body was found 67 feet below the surface. After the divers were pulled out of the water, the rescue divers and investigators found that besides the empty tanks, their dive lights had run out of battery power. Most cave diving deaths are victims who had neither the experience nor training for the challenge. This is one more tragic example.

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