Florida cave divers die in possible drowning, authorities say

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Florida cave divers die in possible drowning, authorities say

The two cave divers died in a possible drowning in Florida, authorities said Thursday.

Sheriff's deputies were called at 12: 20 p.m. Wednesday to what was described as Buford Springs Cave in a wildlife park after teens saw one of the divers floating facedown, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

At first the teens thought that the diver was just looking for the second diver underwater, but they then swam over to check on him, and he was unresponsive, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

After deputies arrived, rescue divers went into the water and found the second diver's corpse at a depth of about 137 feet, the sheriff s office said.

The divers were identified as Todd Richard McKenna, 52, and Stephen Roderick Gambrell, 63.

The two men arrived at the underwater cave around 11 a.m. the three teenagers told deputies.

The teenagers thought they heard the two men talking about whether they had enough air in their tanks to finish a dive, and that one may have said he thought he might have a leak in his air tank, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office said that the divers appeared to have the appropriate equipment but it was not known whether it was working properly. The incident is under investigation, it said.

The bodies were turned over to the medical examiner's office, which had not determined the cause of death Thursday evening.

According to guide materials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Buford Spring is part of a network of underwater caves in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area.

The Buford Spring has a 167 foot descent and is dangerous for experienced divers, the commission says.

The Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area is about 40 miles north of Tampa, located on Florida's Gulf Coast.