HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. -- Last month, the body of a missing diver was found in the Eagle's Nest cave just north of Weeki Wachee Springs.
A new SCUBA permit rule that took effect Thursday aims to make the underwater location more restricted to inexperienced divers.
Details of the new rule include:
-- The diving rule requires all divers to register to dive anywhere in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area.
-- The registration process is online at no cost here.
-- SCUBA diver registration information will be clearly posted on signed at the WMA entry/check station and at the Eagle's Nest site.
-- The rule to register only applies to SCUBA diving and SCUBA divers.
-- All SCUBA divers must be at least 18 years old.
-- Each diver muster register for each separate dive.
-- Divers are required to have the completed proof of registration in their possession and present either a paper or e-copy to a Commission law enforcement officer upon request.
-- Not having the proper registration could result in a citation.
Sylvester Muller, who has been cave diving for almost 30 years here, worked with other expert cave divers and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to get the spot more restricted to the inexperienced.
Muller said in July that the new rules call for you to be either a swimmer or a fully-certified cave diver with the proper certifications. He said these changes have been years in the making.
At least 11 people have been killed diving in the caves at Eagle's Nest since 1981.
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