Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Local diver dies in Florida underwater cave

The Staunton native had made 40 previous dives into an underwater cave along Florida's Suwannee River. But this time the Robert E. Lee High School and University of Virginia graduate didn't come out alive.

Ronald Wayne Simmons, 53, had gone diving February 14 in an area he was very familiar with ... an area of caves that he had mapped and surveyed in the past. After he was reported missing by a friend, rescuers found his body 300 feet from the cave's entrance. It appeared his equipment had malfunctioned.

He was described as a nature enthusiast and outdoorsman who had many friends in Florida's caving and cave-diving communities. He was known as a great mapper and hard-core explorer who had cave-dived all over the world.

His funeral will be Friday in Staunton. Obituary may be found here.

Source: Staunton News-Leader

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