Report: Father, son killed in Hernando cave dive didn't have pro - WFLA News Channel 8

Report: Father, son killed in Hernando cave dive didn't have proper air in tanks

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Darrin Spivey, age 35, and Dillon Sanchez age 15, died while cave diving on Christmas Day. Darrin Spivey, age 35, and Dillon Sanchez age 15, died while cave diving on Christmas Day.
A father and his 15-year-old son who died while cave diving on Christmas Day did not have the proper air in their scuba tanks and did not have proper training for the dive, according to an Hernando County Sheriff's Office report obtained by WFLA News Channel 8.

The report contains research compiled by investigators after the drownings of Darrin Spivey, age 35, and Dillon Sanchez age 15, at the Eagle’s Nest underwater cave system. Eagle’s Nest is also known as Lost Sink and is near Weeki Wachee in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Refuge.

The father and son were reported missing on Dec. 25 by Spivey's fiancee, Holly King, after they did not return home from their dive. The pair went to Eagle's Nest to try out diving equipment that Sanchez got for Christmas.

Recovery divers found their bodies on Christmas night. Sanchez's body was found 67 feet under water in the cave. Spivey's body was found 130 feet down, according to the report.

Sanchez was not a certified diver. Spivey was a certified diver, but he was not certified for cave diving.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office report said that the pair drowned after their tanks ran out of air.

Investigators interviewed a deputy who is a certified cave diver. The deputy said the teen was not certified to go on a deep dive.

"Deputy Vascellaro explained that at age fifteen Dillon would never have been able to obtain a cave diver certification. He believed Dillon would have received a basic certification at fifteen which only would have certified him to he believed depths of forty feet," said the report.

The deputy also examined a computer gauge that blinks if the diver fails to follow instructions.

"At least one of Darrin’s devices was blinking. It was Deputy Vascellaro’s opinion and based on his experience as a certified cave diver that Darrin had sufficient equipment to complete the dive, however he lacked the training if he was not certified," said the report.

Deputy Vascellaro also said that the air in the teen's tank appeared to be the wrong type of air for the type of dive he and his father went on. The owner of a dive shop where Darrin Spivey was a customer also told investigators that he never would have guessed the father and son were cave diving based on the air they were using.

The teen's computer gauge was also not correctly set prior to going into the water, according to the report.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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