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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Egg hunt goes underwater in annual Devil's Den diving event

Brett Lackey will don a wetsuit, fins, an air tank and a dive mask to hunt for Easter eggs this weekend.

On Saturday evening, he’ll dive into the 72-degree waters of Devil’s Den in Williston, where about 300 real eggs will be scattered on the bottom of the underground spring.

It will be the third time Scuba Monkey Dive Center will hold an underwater Easter egg hunt, said Tim Boehnlein, owner of the dive center.

About 190 people went last year, and Boehnlein said he expects at least as many this time.

A barbecue dinner from Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures will be served at about 4 p.m., and the dive will begin after sunset.

The eggs are all real, Boehnlein said, so they won’t harm the environment if they’re not found.

Three will be gold-colored, and the people who find them will be able to choose from three prizes: a Cressi Leonardo dive computer, a Bigblue dive light and a diving trip at Epcot.

Boehnlein said the dive center decided to hold the annual event so local divers could meet.

“A lot of people like diving in the area, and they don’t really have dive buddies,” he said. “So this is a good event to kind of get everybody together.”

To participate in the underwater hunt, divers must be certified to scuba dive in open water and have their own scuba gear. They are required to sign up beforehand by calling the dive center at 386-518-6323 and paying $25, Boehnlein said. Visitors can attend and eat without diving for $10.

Lackey, a geographic information systems specialist and member of the Outdoor Adventure Recreation club at UF, said he plans to attend the event with other members. The 26-year-old said when he went with seven other club members last year, the group won a wetsuit and a buoyancy control device by finding the golden eggs.

“It’s so much fun,” he said. “It’s a gorgeous cave.”

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[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 4/3/2015 under the headline “Deep dive for eggs in Devil’s Den annual hunt ”]

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