The recreational drownings of two experienced cave divers on October 16th demonstrate that accidents do happen sometimes, even to water specialists.
Unlike the victims in The Case of the Drowning Men, 53-year-old Patrick Peacock and his 38-year-old dive partner Chris Rittenmeyer met a watery end on purpose when the pair scoffed at the Grim Reaper's posted warning below to "Stop! Prevent your death. Go no farther," and dove into Florida's perilous cave system, Eagle's Nest.
Several hours later, lost in a mile-long labyrinth of underwater passageways which extend more than 300 feet in depth, they ran out of air together and drowned.
A third less-daring companion, whom Peacock and Rittenmeyer had stationed at the entrance of the cave to wait for them, reported the two men missing after they both failed to resurface as planned.
Would-be rescuers then arrived en masse at the infamous Weeki Wachee site where so many other adventurers have similarly perished and searched its deep-sea chasms and tunnels in vain until nightfall.
Another dive team finally located the lifeless bodies of Patrick Peacock and Chris Rittenmeyer on the following morning in a "very dangerous and complex area" of Eagle's Nest.
They had died "in close proximity to one another in about 260 feet of water," most likely after they each "whited out" from a pressure-induced condition known as Nitrogen Narcosis and their air tanks drained.