Hernando County

Cave diver dies week before 21st birthday

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - A civilian dive team found the body of a 20-year-old diver who went missing Wednesday inside a Hernando County underground cave system called the Eagle's Nest.

Said Marjane would have turned 21 next week on July 25.

Marjane and five friends arrived at Eagle's Nest at 3 p.m., Hernando County Sheriff's Department said. The group completed between 15-20 free dives over the course of several hours.

During a free dive, divers commonly wear wetsuits, masks, fins and weight belts, but do not utilize air tanks.

During the last dive, Marjane told friends he was going to attempt a max breath dive to see how long he could stay submerged.

Marjane descended with another diver, Jacob Fernandez, for safety. Fernandez said he descended to a depth of 80 feet before returning to the surface.

When Marjane failed to resurface, his friends began to dive in search of him. They called 911just before 7 p.m. after they were unable to locate Marjane after a few minutes.

First responders were unable to locate Marjane.

Eagle's Nest is a large cave system with underground caverns. It is located in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area near Weeki Wachee Springs.  Eagle's Nest is a popular destination for divers from around the world. It is known as a difficult and dangerous cave system.

A Dover man drowned there earlier this year. 

In 2017, a man died while diving in Eagle's Nest with his friends. In October 2016, two experienced divers were found dead in the cave system.

A father and son also drowned in Eagle's Nest on Christmas Day in 2013 while trying out diving equipment they got for Christmas.


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