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Cave Diver Began Struggling 100′ Below the Surface, 5th Death in 4 Years

WEEKI WACHEE – Yesterday RNRF reported the tragic news that another scuba diver lost his life while exploring Eagles Nest Sink.

Officials have now identified the diver as Charles Odom but the exact cause of death is still pending the outcome of an autopsy.

According to officials, Odom and fellow divers, Kevin Lura, Evan May, and Christopher Jones met at the Hardee’s Restaurant around 9:40 a.m., and then drove into the preserve together.

All four divers then entered the water and began testing their gear when May experienced a malfunction with his gear and got out of the water.

The other three divers continued the dive while May began to pack up his gear and started loading it into his vehicle.

On his last trip to the sink May noticed a body floating in the water and immediately jumped in and pulled Odom’s lifeless body to the shore.

Officials say Lura and Jones noticed Odom in distress after exploring the “Ballroom” area of the cave. At about 100 feet below the surface, Odom suddenly went limp. Lura and Jones sent Odom to the surface but they were forced to ascend slowly to avoid decompression sickness.

This is the fifth dive related death to occur at Eagles Nest in the last four years.


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  • Rebreather malfunction?

    Tuesday, 10 January 2017, 10:57 pm
  • I’ve been in Eagles Nest many times. I’d say 2 dozens dives or more. To the Ballroom and to the deeper and more difficult tunnels. I know the place well. So I feel like I can comment.
    The deceased divers always! lack experience and brain. The cave access is secured well enough. There are rules’
    Divers and Cave divers are tought and tested on over and over again. There are Warning signs.
    Closing the site will not solve anything.

    Monday, 9 January 2017, 6:56 pm
    • In this case you might be wrong. Could have been a heart attack.

      Monday, 9 January 2017, 11:54 pm
      • I agree. The other divers said he went limp but due to decompression dangers they had to go up slowly. Sounds as though the man had a massive heart attack

        Thursday, 12 January 2017, 8:01 am
  • awful when you know time is critical but if you ignore decompression, there would be more victims and donna relax calm down.. there are thousands of successful dives there with out incident. something medical obviously happened. people die doing sports. I had a coworker die from riding a bicycle out at croom, I didnt yell close down croom or block it off. divers know the risks, you accept the risks getting in your vehicle or putting a regulator in your mouth. Im sure he was an adventurous person and died doing what he loved instead of sitting home scared of the world. We are not all the same. While it might seem like water and rock to you, when you are in, its amazing and near euphoric. Deepest sympathy and regards to this mans family. Let his memories serve you in life.

    Monday, 9 January 2017, 6:27 pm
    • Well said.

      Tuesday, 10 January 2017, 10:30 pm
  • For the Love of God, close it, and Stop letting Anyone dive down there. Prayers for Odoms family. People stop risking your lives there. It’s Not worth it.

    Monday, 9 January 2017, 4:42 pm
    • 280 people have died trying to climb Mt Everest. Should that be closed too? People who have a passion for these sports also know the risks and are willing to take them. RIP Charles Odom.

      Tuesday, 10 January 2017, 1:22 pm

    Monday, 9 January 2017, 2:57 pm

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