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Grottdykare omkom vid Little River Springs

Publicerad den 9 december 2003 

Pressrelease på engelska.

BY Len Dramesi, Special to the News

Tragedy struck Suwannee County the day before Thanksgiving with the drowning death of cave diver Duwayne Beets at Little River Springs near Branford.

Beets was a resident of Watauga, TX and was a certified cave diver familiar with the waterways at Little River according to his diving companions at the scene. He''s known to have completed approximately 25 previous diving explorations at that springs location on the Suwannee River.

The mishap occurred at about 2 p.m. Nov. 26, while Beets was diving with his uncle/partner Kane Overfield, a resident of Overfield, TX.

The pair, along with Beets'' wife Amanda, had breakfast at a local Live Oak restaurant the morning of Nov. 26, and then traveled to Little River for a planned 80-minute dive. At about 12 noon, Beets and Overfield entered the water and went down to the caverns below, witnesses at Little River Spring said.

According to the Suwannee County Sheriff''s Office, a call was received at about 2 p.m. in reference to a missing cave diver at Little River who was 45 minutes over due.

Overfield reported to responding emergency personnel that he lost contact with Beets when the scooter they used silted-up the water and visibility was impaired. Overfield stated he found the permanent lines and was able to make his way out of the cave and expected Beets would be following him. According to Overfield, he had to surface without Beets when his computer monitored air supply indicator malfunctioned and he was uncertain about his remaining air supply.

Beets did not follow his uncle to the surface.

A team of four divers subsequently went down in an attempt to locate and assist Beets. Their search was unsuccessful, and they returned to the surface. Fellow diver Bruce Tipps then went down in an attempt to locate Beets. When Tipps surfaced, he said he found Beets about 2,100 feet into the cave in a position indicating that he was possibly heading out when he died.

According to the accident report, Tipps discovered Beets with both regulators out of his mouth, his light and mask were on with one air tank reading zero and the other indicating 200 lbs.

A pair of rescue divers retrieved Beets'' body from the cave. Beets was 42. An autopsy was performed to determine cause of death, but no results will be available for some time.

Photo Len Dramesi


Taggar:  Grottdykning Dykolycka
Av: Micke Tilja
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