Ok, he was diving (free diving) and there is a cave ... but ...
Blue Spring diver dies
By ANNE GEGGIS and JULIE MURPHY
ORANGE CITY -- A diver at Blue Spring State Park was found floating unconscious in the water Saturday morning but could not be revived and was pronounced dead at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial, officials said.
This is the first cave-diving fatality at Blue Spring since 1994, according to statistics from the National Speleological Society, which began tracking the numbers that year.
Robert A. Jones, 38, of Zephyrhills had been solo "free diving" -- with a wetsuit but no tank -- when other divers discovered him at 10:22 a.m. floating face down under about 10 feet of water near the spring's boil.
Jones was not breathing and had no pulse, and might have been there up to 10 minutes, according to an EVAC ambulance spokesman and a Volusia County Sheriff's Office news release.
Rescuers from EVAC and the Orange City Fire Department had to enter the water to get Jones out. Park rangers and other divers assisted, EVAC spokesman Mark O'Keefe said.
"This was a rather complex, advanced life support rescue because the diver was in the area of the boil," O'Keefe said.
Jones, found to be in cardiac arrest, had to be hoisted onto a backboard, moved onto a rubber raft and floated downstream while responders worked to revive him, O'Keefe said.
"Truly an unusual call for this EVAC crew," O'Keefe said, adding that the crew had to get out of their wet clothes at the hospital.
The patient never regained consciousness, O'Keefe said. He was pronounced dead at 11:33, officials said.
An autopsy will be performed Monday, authorities said, but investigators don't suspect any foul play.
Cave diving deaths in Florida accounted for 42 of the 69 total recorded since 1994. The last 11 deaths have all occurred in Florida between 2006 and 2009 to the present date.
Though this was the first diving fatality at Blue Spring, there have been other close calls in which free divers -- who breathe deeply on the surface of the water to slow the heart rate and then use slow kicks to exert less energy while swimming downward -- nearly drowned there.
Like many free divers, a DeBary teenager sought out an underwater air pocket in 2006. The goal was to catch a breath so he could stay down longer, but it nearly killed him.
Instead of oxygen, what the teen took in was carbon dioxide. He suffered a seizure on his way to the surface, but was revived with CPR.
At least two other incidents occurred in which free divers nearly drowned in the Blue Spring cave in 2002.
Avid scuba divers say there is no safe air under water.
Cave Diving Fatalities 1994-2009 (to date)
The National Speleological Society tracks cave-diving accidents in the Americas. Its records are admittedly incomplete, so these numbers represent the minimum number of cave divers who have died. Sixty-nine deaths have been reported since 1994, of which 42 occurred in Florida. The last 10 fatalities, all since 2005, occurred in Florida.
New York 1
*-- Includes Saturday's death, which was the first in a Blue Spring cave.
SOURCE: American Caving Accidents