Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cave Diving: Alluring, Yet Dangerous

Underwater caves, like this one in northwest Pasco County, are so alluring... yet so dangerous.

The swimming hole at School Sink is no bigger than the average backyard pool. The water is tea-colored from tannic acid and full of silt. Down at the bottom is a hole into a tunnel, one person wide, that snakes down about 45 feet to a web of passages stretching out thousands of feet.

If a diver takes his eyes off the yellow guide line along the surface of the rock, he could become hopelessly lost in an instant.

Two men went on a cave dive here in northwest Pasco County this week and died in the dark waters. Joseph Christian Hartranft, a 52-year-old retired Navy man from Brandon, and Yessic Cozay Spencer, 42, a Marine from Gainesville who was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, were found by a recovery team Wednesday evening.

One of them was floating less than 50 feet from the surface; the other was farther down inside a tunnel, the Pasco Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities are still investigating the deaths, which are considered accidental.

Continue reading...

Bookmark and Share

No comments: