Father, son found dead in underwater cave - FOX 13 News

Father, son found dead in underwater cave

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(Photo courtesy of Perry DeVenecia, showing the scene yesterday) (Photo courtesy of Perry DeVenecia, showing the scene yesterday)
(Photos from Fox 13's Hetal Gandhi, from family) (Photos from Fox 13's Hetal Gandhi, from family)
(Photos from Fox 13's Hetal Gandhi, from family) (Photos from Fox 13's Hetal Gandhi, from family)
WEEKI WACHEE (FOX 13) -

A Christmas Day cave diving excursion ended in tragedy in Weeki Wachee, Hernando County authorities said.

Two divers drowned in the popular Eagles Nest Sink location. Deputies say Darrin Spivey and his 15-year-old son, Dillon Sanchez, were testing diving equipment they received as Christmas presents.

Authorities say the two arrived at the cave early on Christmas, suiting up for the dive around 11 a.m. They would never come back.

A hunter told investigators he saw the pair as they were about to dive. After failing to return, Spivey's fiancée, Holly King, contacted the sheriff's office.

"She also took a drive out here, and she saw their car," HCSO spokeswoman Denise Moloney said. "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."

Deputies say Spivey was an experienced diver, but not a cave diver. Sanchez, however, was not a certified diver.

"It's just a very emotional thing that I hope no one ever has to go through," said Ryan Tafelsky, Spivey's best friend.

Tafelsky told Fox 13 he warned Spivey about Eagles Nest.

"I sat there on the dock and feared that they wouldn't come back," he said.

A sign near the pond entrance warns of the danger. The cave is considered to be a very advanced dive, and there have been several deaths since the 1980's.

The Medical Examiner is conducting its investigation. Officials are reviewing the equipment the two were wearing.

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