Teen swimmers find two cave divers dead in lake

Underwater cave specialists were called to retrieve the second man’s body

<p>The lake in Chassahowitzka Wildlife Park, Florida, where the divers were found </p>

The lake in Chassahowitzka Wildlife Park, Florida, where the divers were found

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The bodies of two cave divers have been removed from a central Florida lake after a trio of teenagers helped retrieve one of the deceased from the water.

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said the divers were seen entering the water at a lake in Chassahowitzka Wildlife Park at about 11am on Wednesday by three teenagers aged 15, 15 and 17.

The teens told investigators the two cave divers had discussed if they had enough air in their tanks for a second dive, and returned to the water.

One of the two divers was heard saying he believed his tank had a leak, the teenagers told the police, but continued to dive into the “Buford Springs Cave”.

A while later, one of the divers appeared to resurface, but was laying face down in the water. The teenagers said they thought he was doing on purpose “to look for the other diver who had yet to resurface.”

“Before long, the juveniles noticed there were no bubbles coming to the surface, like there had been earlier,” the sheriff’s office said.

“The juveniles swam over to check on him and received no response.  The three juveniles were able to get the diver over to the dock, but were unable to lift him out of the water.”

One of the teenagers called the sheriff’s office and when deputies arrived at the scene, the body of the first diver was removed from the water.

The second diver’s body was pulled from the water by “several members of the International Underwater Cave Rescue and Recovery (IUCRR)”, who responded to the scene about 48 miles north of Tampa.

Todd Richard McKenna, 52, and Stephen Roderick Gambrell, 63, were identified as the deceased.

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