Two cave divers die in Eagle's Nest in Weeki Wachee

Eagle's Nest has seen diver deaths before

The bodies of two divers have been recovered in Weeki Wachee.
According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, the divers were reported missing on Sunday.
Patrick Peacock and Chris Rittenmeyer, from Ft. Lauderdale, were pulled from Eagles Nest, a large cave system located off Cortez Blvd that is located in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area. 
The two were on a three-day dive with friend Justin Blakely.
Blakely told deputies Peacock and Rittenmeyer were more experienced divers and they went to explore the caves while he stayed closer to the surface.
When they did not show up at a predetermined location and time, he called for help.
Dive teams searched Sunday evening but could not locate the two divers.
On Monday, dive teams re-entered the water and found Peacock and Rittenmeyer in a very dangerous and complex area of the cave. They were near each other in approximately 260 feet of water.
Blakely said Peacock and Rittenmeyer were both experienced divers and had both dived Eagle's Nest several times in the past.
Even at the entrance of the Eagle's Nest, there are huge signs warning of its dangers.  The huge network of underwater caves attracts adventure divers from all over the world. 
"It's an entirely different kind of dimension," said Chuck Walls with A SCUBA Center, a diving expert, who has previously gone into the Eagle's Nest and has take groups of divers there for years.
The intricacies of the caves can be navigated safely, but only by highly trained divers.  Over the past 30 years, at least 10 divers have died trying to explore its beauties.  Walls says the dangerous depths of over 200 feet in the Eagle's Nest, can sometimes cause the unexpected to even skilled divers. 
"It's called martini's law for us old timers.  For the new comer's it's nitrogen narcosis.  You have a lack of judgment and lose some of your inhibitions.  Some people may even freeze up and do what we call 'white out,'" said Walls. 
The Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management area closed off the Eagle's Nest section of the park to diving between 1999 and 2003, partly because of safety concerns.  And after some of the recent tragedies in the underwater network, some have called for it to be closed off again.  But cave diving enthusiasts insist it's a sport they know carries risk and think the natural wonder should be open for all brave and skilled enough to venture the depths of the caves.
"They can be very safe and very, very enjoyable with the right training and education," said Walls.  
There are no formal talks of permanently closing the Eagle's Nest to divers again.  In fact, once investigators wrap up Monday, the area will be welcoming visitors.

Liquid Productions, LLC. shared this video with ABC Action News to help provide perspective of the caves the divers were in.  They say some of the passageways in Eagles Nest are so large they could only light a section of it.

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