Man dies while cave snorkeling

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Man dies while cave snorkeling

Postby Wayne Harrison » Jul 17, 2006 8:58 am

Chassahowitzka, FL - Officials say a 22-year-old man died while cave snorkeling with friends near Crystal River early yesterday morning.

According to a report, Jason Boyette and three friends were taking turns putting on a single set of snorkeling gear and diving with a flashlight to explore underwater caves of the Chassahowitzka river.

Friends say Boyette was the last to go in the water and never returned. They called authorities at about 3:30 a-m. Divers with the Hernando County Sheriffs Office found Boyette's body stuck in an underwater cave more than five hours later.

Reports say Jason is a former Wesley Chapel High School football star and had been working to become a firefighter. Friends say alcohol was not involved.
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Postby wendy » Jul 17, 2006 9:12 am

geez, cave snorkeling? Taking a snorkel into an underwater cave is the one of the dumbest things you can do, even if you were to find an air pocket, the chances of having fresh air or even breathable air in it is slim to none.
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Postby George Dasher » Jul 17, 2006 11:21 am

My speculations...

The group was probably snorkeling over an underwater spring and taking turns diving into it. Having snorkeled some of those Florida springs (although not at Crystal), it is a very easy and fun thing to do.

The thing is you've got to be aware of your surroundings so you don't actually go underground. And you've got to just plain stay away from the obvious death traps.

This group was either going underground (once underwater), or they weren't paying attention to their underwater surroundings. Or they were competing to see who go go the the farthest into the thing. Either way, they took a very safe sport and made into a killer.
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Postby erebus » Jul 17, 2006 12:27 pm

The fact that they called authorities at 3:30 in the morning leads me to speculate that they were snorkeling in liquids other than water during this event.
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Postby Mako » Apr 24, 2007 8:56 am

Hey - New member here and just read this post - I realize that it is old news but thought I would share.

I have been to Chassahowitzka river dozens of times and have snorkeled through many of the springs in that river, most of them are very shallow.

I grew up in Fl and live in Michigan now. Going to Chassahowitzka to play in the springs was a regular trip growing up and I still make an effort to go there and play when I make a trip down there to see the family.

The most popular springs are the "7 sisters" - there are two springs, one with 2 shallow chimneys and the other with 4. The first one, with shallow chimneys may reach a max depth of 15 feet and a distance of maybe 8-10 feet between the chimneys. The one chimney closest to the source of the flow is quite large, 8-10 ft in diameter, and the other is maybe 3-4 ft in diameter. The second spring with 4 chimneys, has a max depth of maybe 8-10 feet, the chimneys are no more than 3-4 feet apart and they are all 3-4 ft in diameter. This one is definitely the more dangerous of the two, as the passage from one chimney to the next is a little tighter, but I use the word dangerous very loosely here. Worst case scenario, in my experience, is a bump on the head or a scrape on the back - that sort of thing. The flow rate from these springs is quite low, low enough to make it easy to swim through the passages in either direction.
There is a campground nearby, canoe rentals and boat launch. The springs can actually reached by walking through the water and never getting wet above the waist though. There is a side street to park on and a short trail to the water.

The other springs are reached by canoe etc. and I think I have been in the water at all of them and I can not think of any of them where there is any type of passage to enter.

I really think that there must have been something more to the story. Alcohol, no lights at night, drugs, something...
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Postby Squirrel Bait » May 3, 2007 5:01 pm

If it took athorities five hours to find him then may be he did find something neet. I suggest nameing it after him after it's mapped.
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