Record-breaking cave diver, 56, dies while exploring deepest underwater cave in America after he was last seen 570 FEET underground tying off a guide rope and got separated

  • Post category:news
  • Reading time:4 min(s) read
Movie channels                     Music channels                     Sport channels

  • Brett Hemphill was last seen tying off a guide rope at a depth of about 570 feet on October 4
  • However, he was separated from his team, who began a desperate search to find him
  • His body was recovered four days later, and friends flooded his social media with heartbroken messages

An accomplished diver drowned while exploring an underwater cave system in Texas, thought to be the deepest of its kind in the United States.

Brett Hemphill, 56, of Florida, began his dive into Phantom Springs Cave at 10.45am on October 4.

He was last seen tying off a guide rope at a depth of about 570 feet, but the team he was with became separated, and Hemphill never returned from the dive.

Other divers began a desperate search to locate him, venturing over 450 feet and a mile into the cave to find him. His body was recovered four days later. 

Hemphill set a record in 2013 while exploring the same cave system, diving nearly 8,000 feet in at a depth of 465 feet. 

Brett Hemphill, 56, of Florida , began his dive into Phantom Springs Cave at 10.45am on October 4

Brett Hemphill, 56, of Florida , began his dive into Phantom Springs Cave at 10.45am on October 4

Hemphill drowned while exploring an underwater cave system in Texas , thought to be the deepest of its kind in the United States

Hemphill drowned while exploring an underwater cave system in Texas , thought to be the deepest of its kind in the United States

He explored and mapped aquatic caverns for over two decades.

He also served as president of Karst Underwater Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching and protecting underwater ecosystems.

‘We finished recovering Brett from the cave this evening,’ wrote cave explorer and anesthesiologist Andy Pitkin on the Karst Facebook page.

‘Thank you to everyone who has contributed in any way. When we have got all the information and analyzed it, we will issue a statement about the incident that will answer everyone’s questions.

‘Until then, please allow us some time to come to terms with his loss, as up until now we have been focused on the recovery.’

Emmy Award-winning photographer Becky Kagan Schott, who worked with Hemphill since she was 18, posted a touching tribute to the later diver.

Hemphill also served as president of Karst Underwater Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching and protecting underwater ecosystems

Hemphill also served as president of Karst Underwater Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching and protecting underwater ecosystems

‘Heartbroken. Today the dive community has lost yet another great cave explorer and friend,’ Schott wrote.

She described him as ‘a true explorer and a true friend.

‘We won Emmys together, educated the public about safety in caves and what draws people to these places. I will always smile when I think of you but right now I’m heartbroken as are all of your friends. You meant a lot to a lot of people,’ she said.

Phantom Springs is believed to be the deepest underwater cave in the country, with a record pressure of 462 ffw / 140.8 m.

Its actual depth is unknown, as no explorer has been able to venture that far.

In January of 2012, Hemphill and Pitkin joined an expedition to map the upstream and downstream sections of the cave for research purposes

In January of 2012, Hemphill and Pitkin joined an expedition to map the upstream and downstream sections of the cave for research purposes

Few are allowed to dive at Phantom Springs, with permission granted for research purposes

Few are allowed to dive at Phantom Springs, with permission granted for research purposes

It is also the longest underwater cave in the United States, outside of Florida. 

In January of 2012, Hemphill and Pitkin joined an expedition to map the upstream and downstream sections of the cave for research purposes.

Few are allowed to dive at Phantom Springs, with permission granted for research purposes.

Dozens of friends posted tributes to Hemphill on his Facebook page, where his bio reads: ‘Keep breathing.’







#Recordbreaking #cave #diver #dies #exploring #deepest #underwater #cave #America #FEET #underground #tying #guide #rope #separated