Father, Son Drown in Dangerous Cave Dive

They were testing out new equipment given as a Christmas gift

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 27, 2013 7:03 AM CST

(Newser) – A father and son are dead after attempting an advanced Florida cave dive using the brand new equipment the teen had received as a Christmas present, Fox News reports. Darrin Spivey and his son, Dillon Sanchez, 15, were last seen alive while suiting up for a dive down to Eagle Nest Sink, a course of underwater caves, around 11:30am Christmas Day. Spivey's fiance alerted police when the pair didn't return home that afternoon; around 8:30pm, a recovery diver discovered the two bodies 67 feet and 127 feet below the surface, NBC News reports.

Though Spivey was a certified diver—his father tells Hernando Today he'd dived at Eagle Nest Sink before—he wasn't certified to dive in caves, and Dillon had neither certification, police said. One of the rescue divers adds that while the pair had the correct diving gear, they needed to use a specific breathing gas to counter the high nitrogen levels found more than 200 feet below the surface (they were diving with air only). "If they had training, they'd probably be with their families today. Nothing down there is worth your life," he said. A sign near the dive—which drops to 310 feet in some areas—warns it "is extremely dangerous—even life threatening!! Do not dive unless you are a certified cave diver!!" Another reportedly calls it the cave-diving equivalent of scaling Everest.

Eagle Nest Sink.
Eagle Nest Sink.   (Michael C. Barnette)
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