NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 11:57 AM
The bodies of two divers were found in a cavernous swimming hole near Florida’s west coast known to be one of the most dangerous diving destinations in the world.
The bodies were found on Monday, a day after they submerged in the Eagle’s Nest waters in Florida’s Chassahowitza Wildlife Refuge near the state’s Gulf Coast, according to WFLA.
The dead divers, identified as Patrick Peacock, 53, and Chris Rittenmeyer, 38, were experienced and had explored the Eagle’s Nest waters, also known as the Lost Sink, on several other occasions, the local affiliate reported. They are the ninth and tenth divers to die at the notorious diving destination, the Orlando Sun Sentinel reported.
Justin Blakely, another diver who accompanied the two men, told police that the group of three divers traveled to Eagle’s Nest from Fort Lauderdale on Sunday to explore the swimming hole’s network of underwater caves.
Patrick Peacock (l.) and Chris Rittenmeyer (l.) died while diving at Eagle’s Nest sinkhole in Florida.
Blakely, who was less experienced, decided to hover near the water’s surface while Peacock and Rittenmeyer delved deeper into the labyrinthine canals.
“They had a place under the water to meet after about an hour and at that time the 3:00 time came and the less experienced diver went to the location and the two experienced divers did not show up,” Denise Moloney with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office told WFLA.
On Sunday night, a crew of rescue divers went in the water in an attempt to locate Peacock and Rittenmeyer, but they were nowhere to be found.
Two divers died at Eagle’s Nest sink hole over the weekend.
(NBC News 8)
The following morning, a new group of rescue divers made another attempt and discovered their bodies near each other roughly 260 feet deep in one of the most dangerous areas of the caves, according to WFLA.
The world-famous Eagle’s Nest diving waters claimed the lives of two more divers nearly two years ago.
On Christmas Day 2013, Darrin Spivey and his teenage son, Dillon submerged in the treacherous waters and never emerged alive.
Chester Spivey, Jr. lost his son and grandson when they went diving in Eagle’s Nest Sink Hole.
(NBC News 8)
Darrin’s father, Chester Spivey, Jr., is calling for the state to close the diving spot or require cave diving certification to enter the waters after the latest deaths.
“If you don’t have a cave diving certification, you shouldn’t go in there,” Chester Spivey, Jr. told WFLA. “To lose a child is the worst thing. It’s awful.”