Missing diver's body found after trying to free dive at underwater Florida cave

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. —  The body of a missing diver who attempted to free dive at the Eagle's Nest on Wednesday night has been recovered.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene shortly before 7:00 p.m. after receiving a call of a possible drowning of Said Marjane, 20, at the Eagle's Nest, located on property north of Weeki Wachee Springs, on Wednesday night.

According to officials, Marjane and five friends arrived at Eagle's nest at 3:00 p.m. During the course of several hours after arriving, the six of them completed between 15-20 free dives.

During the last dive, Marjane told friends he was going to attempt a max breath dive to see how long he could stay submerged. Marjane descended with another diver, Jacob Fernandez, for safety.

Fernandez said he descended to a depth of 80 feet before returning to the surface. When Marjane failed to resurface, his friends began to dive in search of him.

They called 911 after they were unable to locate him after a few minutes.

Patrol deputies and fire rescue units were immediately dispatched to the scene. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office says emergency responders were not immediately able to locate Marjane.

A few hours later a civilian dive team responded and located Marjane at a depth of 150 feet.

The divers brought Marjane to the surface where he was pronounced deceased by the medical staff on scene.

Marjane's body was transported to the Medical Examiner's Office in Leesburg.

The investigation remains active.

Story from WFTS.com

EARLIER VERSION FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: 

WEEKI WACHEE, Fla. (AP) — A diver has gone missing while exploring an underwater cave near Florida's Gulf Coast.

Authorities say the diver never resurfaced after exploring the Eagle's Nest cave Wednesday.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office says the person was "free diving," which means they weren't carrying oxygen. The diver's identity has not been released.

The cave is a few miles north of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, home of a famous mermaid show.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that the maze-like cave opens at the bottom of a sinkhole and is known among divers as the "Grand Canyon" for its stunning views.

At least 12 divers have died there since 1981.