Dive Accident at Manatee Springs State Park

November 25, 2019

Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 5 PM Manatee Springs State Park officials were notified to contact 911 because a diver was trapped in the main spring outflow area inside of the cave system. Levy County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue team members responded to discover the diver, Zhou Min (5-8-91), a certified cave diver from Foshan City, China became lodged in a narrow space while exiting the main spring. Zhou was accompanied on this dive by her husband and two other friends, also from China, who came to the United States on a vacation visa specifically to dive sites like Manatee Springs.

Manatee Springs officials say the outflow from the main boil area has increased over the past few days due to recent rains in this region. This increased outflow hampered the diver’s ability to remove Zhou from the small space where her body had become lodged.  Two attempts to remove Zhou were made Sunday evening that were unsuccessful. Today at approximately 3 PM the International Underwater Cave Rescue Recovery Team (IUCRR) non-profit team locally based in Lake City, comprised of expert cave divers were able to successfully recover her.

This is an extremely sad situation, Sheriff McCallum said. Our hearts and prays are with this family at this time.