Another Tragedy at Florida’s Vortex Spring

Florida’s Vortex Spring claimed the life of another cave diver over the weekend.

Larry Higginbotham, of Biloxi, Mississippi, did not return after he went diving at the spring on Saturday at around 10:45 am.

When he didn’t return, his girlfriend contacted the Vortex Spring management, who in turn contacted the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Deputy Harry Hamilton, Holmes County Sheriff’s Office

The body was recovered on Sunday evening with the help of volunteer cave divers.

Florida's Vortex Springs

Photo by systemslibrarian

In August 2010, Ben McDaniel, of Collierville, Tennessee was reported missing at Vortex Spring. His body has never recovered.

The underwater cave at Vortex Spring is only accessible for 310 feet, after which a steel gate blocks the way. Only certified cave divers are allowed beyond.

Mississippi diver dies at Vortex Spring []

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Comments (3)

  1. RD Milhollin
    March 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I wish your copy writer would choose language other than “… cave claims another victim…). The word “claim” implies volition, as if the cave has a choice in who enters and who it will kill. The cave does not have a choice in who enters, and certainly there is no action the cave can take to determine who it eats and who gets lucky and cheats death another time. “Diver dies while exploring cave”, “(certified or uncertified) Diver drowns in cave”, or even “Death in Florida underwater cave” all are more neutral and leave out the implication that these caves are somehow involved in causing diver deaths. Are underwater caves inherently dangerous? Absolutely, but proper training, guided and gradually acquired experience, and regular practice allow a diver willing to take the risk to significantly increase the possibility of surviving exposure to this mostly unforgiving environment.

    • Caving News
      March 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Point taken. There was no intention to vilify Vortex Spring, or any other cave for that matter. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Charlie Willis
    January 30, 2013 at 7:55 am

    There is no reason to put a gate at the entrance to any cave system, except to close it for good. No one should ever dive in a cave unless they are fully trained. They need to either weld it closed or take it out, what if you dropped the key while diving? It’s stupidity personified!


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