Father and Son Die in Christmas Day Cave Dive

A distraught woman recounted today how she asked friends on Christmas Day "if I should be worried" when her fiancée and his teenage son did not return from a dive in a notoriously dangerous area of underwater caves in Florida.
By Tina Chen (ABC News)

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fl. -- A distraught woman recounted today how she asked friends on Christmas Day "if I should be worried" when her fiancée and his teenage son did not return from a dive in a notoriously dangerous area of underwater caves in Florida.

Her fears came true when the bodies of Darrin Spivey, 35, and his son, Dillon Sanchez, 15, were recovered from an underwater cave in an area known as Eagle Nest Sink in northwestern Hernando County on Wednesday night.

Friends told the Sheriff's Office that Spivey was a certified diver, but was not certified to cave dive while Sanchez was not certified to dive at all.

Spivey's fiancée, who asked to remain anonymous, told ABC News that she is still trying to process everything that has happened. She said she called 911 after numerous attempts to reach the pair. As the day went on with no word from Spivey, "I called friends and family that were more experienced to ask if I should be worried, and then I made the call."

She reported to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office that the two took out some new diving equipment that Sanchez received for Christmas to test out at Eagle Nest Sink.

A hunter told authorities he saw the father-son duo suited up and ready to go at 11 a.m., but when he returned at 6:30 p.m., he only saw their car, no divers in sight, according to the police report.

Eagle Nest Sink is a large underwater cave system located near Weeki Wachee, D., in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area. Better known as the Lost Sink and revered as the "Grand Canyon" of the diving world, it is notoriously dangerous, but still draws divers from around the world.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, a certified underwater emergency recovery diver, Eric Deister, started searching at 8:30 p.m. Deister first found Sanchez inside a cave at 67 feet. After enlisting the help of two other divers, Robert Brooks and Matthew Vinzant, the three were able to locate Spivey at 127 feet.

The Medical Examiner took custody of the bodies, and will determine the exact cause of death.

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