Diver’s body recovered at Merritts Mill Pond

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MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — UPDATE: The diver has been identified as 68-year-old Clyde Douglas Rorex. He took off from the public boat ramp on Hunter Fishcamp Rd. Wednesday morning to dive in “The Hole in The Wall” cave.

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A diver is dead after becoming trapped inside of an underwater cave.

Authorities say he took off from Merritts Mill Pond in Marianna early Wednesday morning and never returned.

At 1:00 on Wednesday, the Jackson County Sheriff’s office received a call about a possible accidental drowning or missing diver.

World renowned diver, Edd Sorenson, was called to help find the missing man but the rescue quickly turned into a recovery when Sorenson found the diver’s body trapped inside one of the caves.

News 13 was told the diver frequently went diving in the Merritts Mill Pond area and he usually went on early-morning, solo-dives alone.

News 13 was also told the diver, took off at 6 a.m. and was supposed to return by 10 a.m. When he did not return, his family contacted the sheriff’s office.

Captain Virgil Watson with the Jackson County Sheriff’s department also told News 13 the diver was not inexperienced.

“From my understanding, he dives almost every day here,” Watson said. “I think he’s been diving for close to 20 years to my understanding.”

Captain Watson told us the underwater caves in this area attract divers from all over the world and while diving accidents are not frequent, they happen occasionally.

Officials have not released the victim’s name but he is local to the Jackson County area.

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Marianna officials are investigating an incident involving a diver.

Officials said the diver’s body was recovered at Merritts Mill Pond Wednesday afternoon. A reporter is at the scene and News 13 is gathering more details about the incident.

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