Fatality at Ginnie Springs

As reported by Sun staff writer Lise Fischer a man, visiting the United States from Switzerland, died Monday when he apparently drowned while cave diving in Gilchrist County, Florida. The body of Mark Fyvie was found approximately 3,500 feet into a cave system at Ginnie Springs , the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office reported. Fyvie had been alone when he started his dive at about noon Monday, March 10th into the cave system at an opening called the Devil’s Eye.

Another diver began searching for Fyvie after he had failed to return by about 9 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office. About one hour and a half later, Fyvie’s body was discovered.

The man’s body was not removed from the caves until Tuesday due to darkness and safety concerns for recovery team, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

It has also been reported that Fyvie was configured in a rebreather with sufficient scrubber to last 10 hours and also had a side mount/no mount rig for the effort needed to make a passage through a suspected new lead in the cave. Fyvie’s death remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

The cave system is a popular area for divers. Called the Devil’s Spring system, it houses three separate springs that produce about 80 million gallons of water daily, according to a Web site about Ginnie Springs. The Devil’s Eye is a round opening about 20 feet across that serves as the entrance to a cavern. In 2005, a 20-year-old University of North Florida student died in an underwater cave at the park after he apparently hit his head while freediving by himself.

Fyvie appears to have had vast experience in techinical diving and rebreathers, and held several instructor level ratings as well.

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