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DEVELOPING: Florida’s Deadliest Cave Claims Life of Another Diver

UPDATE: 9:26 P.M. – The deceased has been identified as Davin Brannon, 53, of Dover, Florida.

WEEKI WACHEE – The infamous Eagle’s Nest Cave site has claimed another life, after a man’s body was pulled from the water less than an hour ago.

Today’s incident is the 12th fatality to occure since 1981, and that’s with the cave being shut down between 1999 and 2003.

Access to Eagle’s Nest is located off Cortez Blvd, about two miles west of US-19.

The identity of the victim has not been released.

We will bring more on this story as it develops.

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  • The cave wasn’t the reason he died, apparently he was having physical troubles just after he entered the water, A major stroke or heart attack would leave him just as helpless and vulnerable, no matter what body of water he was in. Only a autopsy will confirm exactly what happened because it wasn’t equipment failure or drowning. My condolences go out to his family.

    Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 9:43 am
  • Close the dive area.. why shld a public area cause 12 deaths . We can close this.. Want to jump out of a plane go ahead.not a public area.. . i served and sank a ship for 5 yrs.. my choice .. yes subs..pls support Tom. He is a gd guy.. my sons are deputies btw..

    Sunday, 21 January 2018, 2:27 pm
    • Why don’t they close Mount Everest while they’re at it, and not allow people to sail across oceans, Or allow swimming at local lakes and rivers. Do you have any idea how many lives these things claim each year. Grow up man, go back to the safety of your couch.

      Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 10:50 am
    • This place is fairly well known and there’s warnings above and below the surface explaining the risks. All of the deaths were either by idiots, who if the place is closed are going to go put themselves in danger somewhere else, or trained divers who were fully aware of and chose to accept the risks.

      Saturday, 27 January 2018, 8:59 pm
  • So what will it take? How many more must die in that cold, dark hole before they close it for good? To the divers, my question is WHY? Why risk dying just to be able to say I went there and no one else could? Please think twice before diving Eagle’s Nest…it could be your last.

    Sunday, 21 January 2018, 1:44 pm
  • But where’s the story about the idiot who went to bank of America and tried to order a burrito?

    Sunday, 21 January 2018, 10:38 am
    • That jackass made NATIONAL NEWS!

      Sunday, 21 January 2018, 1:39 pm
  • For driver’s family and friends my heartfelt condolences. Remember the love you shared with him and he with you, the smiles and laughterand good times. It is what he would want you to do. For Mike A. your comment was beautifully put. A voice of reason in the storm of idiots. STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM FOR A TRAGEDY. Even in the best of circumstances ANYTHING CAN GO HORRIBLY WRONG AND TRAINED PROFESSIONALS CAN HAVE A TRAGEDY OCCUR. Bless you for being thoughtful before posting sich a great message. And for those bashing Tom STOP!!! I find he tries to be fair if he reports something and if it changes he will correct it. His info comes from police and sherrif contacts. If they misreport that is what he has to go by. If they report correctly then his site reports correctly. Blame the agencies dispensing info to him not Tom.

    Sunday, 21 January 2018, 10:16 am
    • Sorry for the typo. Message for DIVER’S family.

      Sunday, 21 January 2018, 10:20 am
    • ELS, Good afternoon, I would like you to know that tomorrow your newsletter will have been paid for as well as my own. I believe in paying it forward . I understand your circumstances, as I have been there. ( kinda still am)Please email tom with your e mail address so that he has your name and email, otherwise no way for him to get it to you, you can ask him about this if you choose, I hope this in a small way helps to make your life a little easier. Pay it forward if you can people. Have a great Sunday.😃

      Sunday, 21 January 2018, 12:47 pm
      • Janice, I thankyou for your extreme kindness. I have contacted Tom. Sorry it took so long – health issues surprise us sometimes. I ALWAYS try to pay it forward because I have been blessed in the past and am STILL blessed now in some respects – may be broke but still blessed! LOL LOL

        Tuesday, 30 January 2018, 12:12 pm
  • Cave diveing has inherent risks all certified understand them.
    It’s ludicrous to expect everyone to understand fatalities take place.
    I’ve dove Eagles Nest and it’s a beautiful place.
    When I’m there I acknowledge the risk and dive accordingly within my training and experience.
    I feel for the friends and family of the lost diver.
    For the rest of the non-diving community I simply ask for grace and understanding.
    No malice or words of bitterness only wish for unity and peace.
    Life is precious and treat it with respect.

    Sunday, 21 January 2018, 10:10 am
  • SEEMS EVERYTHING THE AUTOR WRITES ANYMORE IS ATTACKED AND RIDICULED !! THE MAN REPORTS THE NEWS ,AND HE DOES A FINE JOB I MIGHT ADD !! MY PRAYERS ARE FOR THE 53 YEAR OLD MAN AND HIS FAMILY AS I THINK WE SHOULD ALL HAVE THE SAME CONCERNS. PERHAPS IT IS TIME TO PAY FOR THIS SERVICE AND MAYBE THE HATERS WILL JUST GO AWAY !!

    Sunday, 21 January 2018, 5:27 am
    • ENZO, I’M NOT A HATER AND I LIKE TOM’S REPORTING. I AM, HOWEVER, ON SOCIAL SECURITY WITH NO BREATHING ROOM IN MY SO CALLED BUDGET. IF I COULD AFFORD TO PAY I WOULD BUT WITHOUT TOM I WOULDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON IN HERNANDO, PASCO AND CITRUS COUNTIES. IF FORCED TO PAY I WOULD HAVE TO GIVE UP TOM AND THAT I WOULD TRULY HATE.

      Sunday, 21 January 2018, 10:27 am
    • ENZO, YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT, SUPPORT HIM OR LOOSE HIM, AND THEN WE HAVE NOTHING. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE AWAY FREE SPEECH, 24.00 IS A MERE PITTANCE COMPARED TO WHAT HE DOES FOR THIS COMMUNITY. HATERS WILL HATE, THIN SKINNED POLITICIANS NEED TO GROW UP. WHILE I SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT, I DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS BULL. GROW UP!! APPRECIATE YOU TOM AND BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL SURVIVOR THIS. BE WELL, BE SAFE,!!! THE TRUTH ALWAYS WIN IN THE END. MY CONTRIBUTION WILL BE THERE VERY SOON, LOOK ING FORWARD TO MY FIRST NEWSLETTER.

      Sunday, 21 January 2018, 10:34 am
    • Agreed…I’m sorry Tom is always under such ridicule.

      Sunday, 21 January 2018, 1:40 pm
  • https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.deeperblue.com/top-10-most-dangerous-dive-sites-in-the-world/amp/

    This says eagles nest is #8 on the top 10 deadliest cave dives in the world. Not sure how credible it is. But there isn’t any others in Florida above it

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 11:13 pm
    • That article claims to report the top ten most dangerous “sites”. Words are important and you have swapped a few around. The articles also omits any data or records to back up their rating logic. And just to add perspective, they didn’t even mention the Andria Doris, who has had had 18 fatalities as of 2017. *which is more that the # reported for Eagles Nest.

      Sunday, 21 January 2018, 8:31 am
  • The author should do some homework before writing on this topic and feeding the flames with an inflammatory title. The Nest is far from the deadliest cave in Florida. It just happens to suck In the headline attention due to the Christmas Day, Double fatality a few years back. And I’m not doing your research for you! If you are a half way decent reporter, you can figure it out and get your facts straight. And I am all for being respectful of victims and family when these things happen. However, i have little respect for a certain family who perpetuates a vendetta against many safe cave divers instead of accepting responsibility for bad decisions and reckless behavior, that was really at the root of the tragedy several years ago. (Not today’s incident)

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 8:55 pm
      • Not over-reacting. Bang on in fact.

        Saturday, 20 January 2018, 10:30 pm
    • Fldiver.

      I think I’m understanding correctly that you’re saying there are more deadly caves in Florida ? I am not a reporter but I couldn’t find any evidence of that. Please share. I believe regardless that diving should be allowed at eagles nest. But I’d love to hear what you have to say about my question.

      Saturday, 20 January 2018, 10:12 pm
      • Of course how one defines “deadliest” is up for debate. And perhaps the only defensible point for the writer of this article. If you want to know about net #of casualties, there are a couple that come to mind. Ginnie/Devils has seen high numbers over the years, especially if you count the old “Jenny” cave that has long been rendered inaccessible for divers. Royal Springs has also had more than Eagles Nest, just in raw numbers.

        This Is not a simple thing to assess either. Cave diving fatalities have actually declined greatly since the 70s-80s due to a lot of hard work around training and education. Still there persists people who resist recommended training, and ignore well established guidelines to attempt dive well beyond their capability. Most would be surprised at how often such people “get away” with this. In a 2013 double fatality, neither were certified for cave diving and had been witnessed diving other caves. I don’t think this was a case where a couple divers just stumbled across an “attractive nuisance” and “accidentally” got in over their heads. (Just my opinion)

        I know many very experienced technical and cave divers that consider Eagles Nest beyond their training and do not dive there. I also know highly disciplined and very capable divers who have logged many safe dives in the very same spot.

        It is nearly impossible for a diver to seek out and reach this dive spot and be unaware of the specific challenges and risks. Yet some persist to their peril, and to the pain caused to friends and family.

        *full details of the Jan2018 incident are still not public. In no way do I presume that my previous comments apply in this case. Medical incidents are also common.

        Bottom line.. Eagles Nest is not a “Deadly Cave”. Untrained, inexperienced divers in caves ARE deadly.

        Sunday, 21 January 2018, 8:21 am
  • My Momma called me ‘pea brain’ once but I’m smart enough to know not to dive at Eagle’s Nest without proper training because ‘Sh!t happens’…
    Love,
    Forrest

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 6:57 pm
  • Prayers for the victim and family..

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 6:36 pm
  • My condolences to the family of the deceased. Chris – Let’s not call the dead stupid – the point can be made without insulting the deceased and it can be done in a more effective manner. I am speaking as a cave IT with 100 plus dives in the Nest. Additionally I have published over 100 accident case studies in major publications without ever belittling, insulting or degrading the deceased or their family members. Respect is free and it opens more dialogue than posturing. Never mind the fact that it is the decent thing to do.

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 6:20 pm
    • Well said.

      Saturday, 20 January 2018, 7:21 pm
    • Your in hernando county what do you expect.

      Saturday, 20 January 2018, 7:43 pm
    • very well said mike. it is what it is. theres so many things that can happen and people make assumptions. as divers we know the risk and accept it. none of us are exempt from death.

      Saturday, 20 January 2018, 8:35 pm
  • Very sad. Prayers for the loved ones of this person.

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 6:17 pm
  • Caves are not the cause of diving fatalities. The vast majority of the time it is the diver.

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 6:05 pm
  • Sending prayers to all involved

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 5:29 pm
  • Florida’s Deadliest Cave …Wronggg. Quality reporting right here 😐

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 5:03 pm
      • There are a few more caves with more deaths than this one. Ginnie, for example. There have been at least 12 deaths there in just 20 years. EN has had 12 deaths in 40 years of diving it. Big difference.

        Saturday, 20 January 2018, 8:39 pm
        • But does that take into consideration of per capita, the number of people who frequent Ginnie Springs vs. EN ratio and fatalities.

          Monday, 22 January 2018, 6:32 am
      • Gennie Springs cave System has had over 22 people between 1970 – 1984 alone . On average three a year since then.

        Saturday, 20 January 2018, 8:41 pm
          • I am appreciative of all the news you provide for Hernando County. I’m just concerned about the misleading title of the article, which can fire up the community about shutting down one of the much Less deadly cave systems in Florida. There is only one gate at Ginne, located in the open water diver cavern area to prevent the OW divers from entering the system there. All other entrances are open to qualified cave divers to enjoy miles and miles of clear water.

            Sunday, 21 January 2018, 8:27 am
            • I think perhaps this one of the main issues that cave divers have with stories of this nature. I am not quick to blame the author for this, as quite often these articles are written by non-cave divers who generally velittle understanding of the sport. The headline and the article are misleading in saying that the cave has “claimed” another life. The cave has done nothing. Anything short of the cave collapsing on the diver or something similar, the cave has nothing to do with the diver’s death. Suggesting that the cave somehow “claimed” a life is possibly inciting those who somehow think that closing access to the cave is the solution.

              Sunday, 21 January 2018, 3:40 pm
          • If you want the story to be about the death of a cave diver, make the title “Diver Dies While Diving a Cave.” Your title starts out, “Florida’s Deadliest Cave…” that’s not making the story about the death of a diver, that’s leading people to see what Florida’s deadliest cave is. And as others have pointed out, Eagle’s Nest is not the deadliest cave system still open to the public. There are plenty of folks who have named cave systems still open that are deadlier. At this point, I can’t even pass off your title as ignorance- it appears to be false information purposefully presented as true by you.

            Sunday, 21 January 2018, 9:23 pm
              • According to your article, there have been 12 deaths since 1981. The grate you speak of, that blocks the deadliest section of caves at Ginnie Springs, was added in 1976. There have been over 12 deaths at Ginnie since 1981. There’s one example- there are probably more.
                More importantly, you’re proving my point. You’re wanting to push the lie of Eagle’s Nest being the deadliest cave in FL instead of the article being about the tragic death of a cave diver. And I think it’s disgusting.

                Monday, 22 January 2018, 1:12 am
                  • Then change the title.

                    Monday, 22 January 2018, 10:47 am
                  • The article may not itself lead to the closing of the cave access at EN, but it helps to propagate the misplaced notion that the solution to preventing cave diving fatalities is in essence to ban access.

                    Monday, 22 January 2018, 5:31 pm
              • The headline is NOT perfect the way it is, because it’s NOT TRUE.

                Saturday, 3 February 2018, 5:53 pm
  • This is so sad!

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 3:22 pm
  • Have you jerks not considered that this person has a family who probably knows WHERE they were diving? What about other people diving the site who are safe? There’s a reason REPUTABLE news organizations don’t publish this stuff so quickly. Jerks.

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 2:56 pm
    • I wonder who you are calling jerks…from your post it looks like you are referring to Tom. Just for your information, Tom posted this story 11 Minutes before 1 PM today. At 1 PM today the Sheriff posted a video on Facebook….so, if you are telling Tom that he is wrong for posting this story, you also should feel the same about the Sheriff’s Office posting it at just about the same time Tom did. Sometimes people can just be so nasty!!!

      Saturday, 20 January 2018, 5:04 pm
  • Close it already !!!!! -the aunt of Dillon Sanchez 2/26/98 12/25/2003

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 2:10 pm
    • More people die in car wrecks so should the stop allowing them to be used ? Planes ? Its unfortunate but thats why you need to be trained and get experience as a cave diver. 12 deaths over a almost 30 year period. Lets be real here.

      Saturday, 20 January 2018, 4:44 pm
    • Dillon was not a trained cave diver and had absolutely no business being there. Don’t punish trained and experienced cave divers because oh his stupidity

      Saturday, 20 January 2018, 5:31 pm
      • Chris, i guess you have spent your whole life never taking chances, never being a person who wnats to explore life, knowing the possible consequences. You could be hiking in the woods, knowing that you may come across a bear who could kill you, or a rattler that could bite you and die from that. People do what they want and love to do. If a bad thing happens, it happens. Do not pour salt into the families wounds by calling their loved ones stupid now that they are deceased. Why cannot people just have sympathy when a tragedy happens. I for one, pray for the family….

        Saturday, 20 January 2018, 7:06 pm
      • There are taking chances, then there are doing things that are just plain reckless. Chris, you are absolutely, unequivocably correct.

        Saturday, 20 January 2018, 11:02 pm
    • Not the answer to the problem…they know the risk they are taking.

      Saturday, 20 January 2018, 5:50 pm
    • leave it open! sorry Cassy but Dillon was was a victim of his dumb ass father! (i have said this before) plain and simple not the hole in the ground 99.999% choose to stay out of. sorry for your loss

      Saturday, 20 January 2018, 10:41 pm
    • The cave didn’t kill Dillon, inexperience and his father killed him.

      Sunday, 21 January 2018, 8:50 am

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