Father and Son Divers Found Dead In Underwater Cave On Christmas Day

Two divers, a father and son, were found dead on Christmas day in an underwater cave in an area known as Eagle Nest Sink in northwestern Hernando County, Florida. Darrin Spivey, 35, and his son, Dillon Sanchez, 15, were diving in a notoriously dangerous area of caves.

Authorities say that the two divers were testing out new diving equipment that they received as Christmas presents. My Fox Tampa Bay reported that a hunter had seen the two earlier in the day as they were preparing to dive. When Spivey’s fiancée began to worry about the whereabouts of Spivey and his son, she took a drive out to the area herself.

“She saw their car,” said HCSO spokeswoman Denise Moloney. “She wasn’t able to find them. We sent divers down Christmas night, and they found Mr. Sanchez at about 67 feet and Mr. Spivey at 127 feet.”

ABC News stated that according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, a certified underwater emergency recovery diver, Eric Deister, started searching for the two divers at 8:30 PM. Deister was able to find Sanchez first, and after enlisting the help of two other divers, Robert Brooks and Matthew Vinzant, the three finally found Spivey.

Spivey’s fiancée told ABC News that she is still trying to process everything that has happened in the last 24 hours. Friends of the two individuals told the Sheriff’s Office that Spivey was a certified diver. However, he was not certified to cave dive, and Sanchez wasn’t certified to dive at all.

As previously stated, the underwater caves where the divers were found is known as a dangerous area. My Fox Tampa Bay stated that the area also had signs posted warning of the possible dangers as the cave is known to be a “very advanced dive.”

The Medical Examiner is conducting an investigation at this time, and authorities are reviewing the equipment that the two divers were wearing at the time of their dive.