|Sign inside the Devil's Eye warning unexperienced divers|
Steve Bennett, 59, of Hendersonville, Tenn., arrived at the springs, situated west of High Springs in Gilchrist County, on Friday and rented diving gear from the privately owned Ginnie Springs Outdoors park and campground, Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office Lt. David Aderholt said Monday.
Aderholt said an investigator found a certificate in Bennett’s car allowing Bennett to do open-water diving, though it wasn’t clear whether he was certified to dive in caves.
“Whether or not he had any experience in terms of cave diving, we do not know,” Aderholt said.
Bennett’s body was found by a group of divers in the cave system at the Devil’s Eye portion of the springs.
There didn’t appear to be anyone else diving with him.
“It appears he arrived alone and was diving alone,” Aderholt said.
The body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Gainesville for an autopsy.
Source: The Gainesville Sun
About the cave:
The system has two entrances, Devil's Eye and Devil's Ear, located in close proximity to one another. The Devil's Eye cave system is among the most popular and frequently dived caves in the world. With over 30,000 feet of mapped passageway, divers can spend a lifetime of active cave diving and still not see all of it.