On the evening of the 25th December 2013, rescue divers found Darrin Spivey’s lifeless body floating 120 feet below the surface of Eagle Nest Sink, a popular spot for cave divers in Florida. His regulator was out of his mouth and dangling between his legs, according to a recovery diver’s interview with Detective Jill Morrell of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
His body was above two reserve tanks, according to the three divers who recovered the bodies of Spivey, 35, and his 15-year-old son, Dillon Sanchez.
The sheriff’s office released the findings of an investigation into Spivey and his son’s deaths last week.
According to the report, they died accidentally after their tanks ran out of oxygen.
The diver’s equipment showed they dived down to 233 feet using air alone in their tanks. According to rescue diver Eric Deister, the men should have been using a trimix combination for their breathing supply, not air alone. Deister told investigators Spivey and Sanchez should not have ventured lower than 218 feet on the air supply they took with them due to toxic effects.
The divers believe Spivey and Sanchez, neither of whom were certified cave divers, lost track of time while exploring the caverns at Eagle Nest Sink. Spivey was a certified open water diver, and his son did not have any diving certifications whatsoever.
Because Spivey’s air hose was not in his mouth, the divers thought Sanchez ran out of air, and his father attempted to give him air using a “buddy breathing” technique.
“They (the rescue divers) further stated that they believed that Dillon panicked and attempted to swim to the surface, as he did not have his mouthpiece intact and his mask was around his neck,” the report states.
Sanchez’s body was found 67 feet below the surface.
After the divers were pulled out of the water, the rescue divers and investigators found their tanks had run out of air. Batteries from their light sources had stopped working as well.
According to Spivey’s fiancee, Holly King, Spivey and Sanchez left before 7 a.m. Christmas morning to go diving at Buford Spring, also located in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, but found it flooded. Spivey sent a text message to King, telling her they would dive Eagle Nest, and that he would call her after.
The divers were last seen by a hunter around 11 a.m., suiting up and preparing to dive. King called law enforcement around 3 p.m. when she hadn’t heard from them, and drove out to the sinkhole cave site an hour later. She spotted their vehicle, and began contacting family members, the report shows.
Between 9 and 10 p.m., three rescue divers recovered Spivey and Sanchez’s bodies.
The men had the proper equipment to dive, but not the experience and training, according to experts.
Law enforcement did not test the air quality of the tanks, the report shows, because the medical examiner said the test results would not change the cause and manner of deaths in the case.
Spivey was a Hernando High School graduate who worked as a roofer. He was remembered as a “super father” to his children, according to his father, Chester Spivey.
Sanchez was a Hernando High School student in the ROTC program, and aspired to become a Navy SEAL.
Eagle Nest Sink does not check diver certifications. Reaching depths of 300 feet, the diving spot has been called the “Mount Everest” of cave dives. In the weeks following the accident, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Gary Morse said the FWC had received one request to close the diving spot (from Chester Spivey) and many requests to keep it open.
SCUBAPRO Free Octopus Promotion 2023
Free Octopus with every purchase of a SCUBAPRO regulator system
Just in time for the festive season, divers can save money again with the FREE OCTOPUS winter promotion! Until December 31st SCUBAPRO offers one of the two new Octopus models S270 or R105 for free with every purchase of a regulator system!
The S270 OCTOPUS is free with purchase of a MK25 EVO/D420 or MK19 EVO/D420, MK25 EVO/S620Ti or MK19 EVO/ S620Ti in INT or DIN versions. A R105 OCTOPUS is free with purchase of a MK25 EVO/S600 or MK17 EVO/S600, or MK25 EVO/G260 or MK19 EVO/G260 or MK19 EVO BT or MK25 EVO BT/ G260 CARBON BT in INT or DIN versions.
SCUBAPRO offers a 30-year first owner warranty on all regulators, with a revision period of two years or 100 dives. All SCUBAPRO regulators are of course certified according to the new European test standard EN250-2014.
Available at participating SCUBAPRO dealers. Promotion may not be available in all regions.
Find an authorized SCUBAPRO Dealer at scubapro.com.
More information available here: SCUBAPRO Free Octopus Promotion 2023
Indo siren destroyed by fire
Indo Siren, a vessel from the Master Liveaboards Fleet, has been destroyed by a fire this morning. Thankfully, all guests and crew members are safe.
Master Liveaboards have released the following statement:
During our current cruise in Raja Ampat, on the morning of 30th November, a fire broke
out on Indo Siren. At the current time we are still assessing the events around the incident,
and will be working with authorities, so cannot currently comment further.
All guests and staff departed the boat, without further incident. They are now with our
ground crew who have organised accommodations while we assist with all their other
needs going forwards.
We are currently evaluating the issues created by the fire on upcoming trips. Guests who
are likely to be affected by enforced cancellations or changes will be contacted in due time
when plans are finalised.
We are incredibly grateful that this incident was not more serious and that everyone who
was onboard, both crew and guests, are safe and well.
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