A father and son died trying out new diving equipment they received as presents for Christmas while attempting to descend into a cave that’s been described as the ‘Grand Canyon’ and ‘Mount Everest’ of diving.
Brooksville, Florida native Darrin Spivey, 35, and his 15-year-old son Dillon Sanchez arrived at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Refuge around 11am Christmas morning to dive into the 300-foot Eagles Nest Sink.
But Spivey’s fiancee Holly King started to worry when the two didn’t return and she couldn’t get through to Spivey on his cell phone.
She finally drove out there herself and found their car was still parked in the lot. At that point, around 7:30 she called police.
Recovery divers started searching the waters an hour later and found both bodies in the main cavern area between 11pm and midnight. They found the boy’s body at 67 feet and his father’s at a further 127 feet.
‘It was very unfortunate. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends,’ Assistant Hernando County Fire Chief Kevin Carroll told the Tampa Bay Tribune.
While deputies described Spivey as an experienced diver, he was not a cave diver. His high-schooler son, they say, was not a certified diver.