Cause of death determined in Eagle's Nest cave dive death

Published January 18 2017

Charles Odom died of accidental drowning while cave diving at Eagle's Nest on Jan. 8, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.

Atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in the arteries, contributed to Odom's death, as did obesity, the Medical Examiner's Office said.

Odom, 55, of Trinity, and two other divers were on their way back to the surface after exploring the treacherous underwater cave near Weeki Wachee, which has claimed the lives of at least 10 divers since 1981, including two in October, when the other divers noticed Odom go "limp," the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said. They floated Odom to the top. Another diver, who didn't go into the cave because of faulty equipment, saw Odom's body floating and pulled him out. He was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders. A toxicology report had not yet been completed. A Sheriff's Office inspection of Odom's dive equipment showed it was working properly.

Times staff