Christmas tragedy: Father, son die while cave-diving

Darrin Spivey, 35, seen with his son, Dillon Sanchez, 15, in this undated Facebook photo. Facebook

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A father and son who went diving on Christmas Day with new equipment the boy got for a present have been found dead in an underwater cave at a north Florida wildlife refuge.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that Holly King called authorities after her fiancé, Darrin Spivey, and his 15-year-old son Dillon Sanchez didn't return home after a planned dive in the 300-foot deep Eagle Nest Sink cave about an hour and a half north of Tampa.

A sign near the entrance to the cave reads: "Cave diving in this area is extremely dangerous - even life threatening!! Do not dive unless you are a certified cave diver!!"

According to the sheriff's office, the 35-year-old Spivey was a certified diver; however, he was not a certified cave diver. They say Sanchez was not a certified diver.

"It is something that was suppose to be good thing that turned tragic on Christmas day," says Denise Maloney, Public Information Officer for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

At least six other people have died while diving at Eagle's Nest since 1981, reports CBS affiliate WTSP.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.