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Underwater Photographers Capture The Ocean’s Mysteries

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(credit: CBS) Jessica Dean
Jessica Dean is co-anchor with Chris May of CBS 3’s Eyewitness New...
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By Jessica Dean

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Imagine floating weightless, hearing nothing, surrounded by darkness. It might sound like outer space. But it’s right here on earth, underwater. A Delaware County husband and wife are underwater adventurers off the New Jersey coast and around the world.

The images are spectacular: a crevice barely wider than a person beckoning you inside, rock formations that blot out the sun, a floor like an eerie moonscape.

“In a world where you have this technology at your fingertips and you can explore the world on something like Google Earth, there’s parts that you still can’t see,” said Becky Kagan Schott.

Unless you go underwater.

If the ocean had astronauts, that’s what Becky Kagan Schott and David Schott would be. This husband and wife team based outside Philadelphia travels the world as award-winning underwater photographers. They’ve shot sharks, the Arctic, even shipwrecks.

“Caves are one of the only places, one of the few places left on earth yet, that have been unexplored,” said David Schott.

They were at Eagle’s Nest, Florida, one of the most spectacular underwater caves in the country. You have to drive for miles deep into a wooded state park to even find it.

“It’s one of the deepest caves in Florida,” said Florida cave diver Matt Vinzant. “Everyone calls it the Mount Everest of cave diving, so that by itself is a huge draw. It’s deep. It’s dark.”

Multiple signs warn untrained divers to go back.

Wearing specialized cave diving gear, David, Becky and fellow divers slip gently underneath a lacy-looking layer of rock. Daylight disappears as they sink deeper. Eventually Eagle’s Nest opens into a so-called ballroom more than 300 feet deep, an empty bowl the size of half a stadium.

“You have quiet, solitude, yet there’s places to go and and and excitement at the same time,” said David.

If you’re in trouble, only a single rope line exists to guide you out. Follow it the wrong way, you’ll run out of air and die.

“These are dangerous places if you’re not trained,” David said.

Last Christmas, Darrin Spivey and his 15-year-old son drowned in Eagle’s Nest. The father was only certified to dive in the ocean. His son was not certified to dive at all.

But for expert cave divers, Eagle’s Nest is one of the best sightseeing trips in the world.

“I’ve been in caves where there have been less people in the cave than walked on the moon,” said David.

“It’s just this amazing underwater world,” Becky said. “To go where very few people go and to see what Mother Nature has created right underneath our feet is just pretty spectacular.”

David and Becky are wrapping up a shoot in Bermuda, then Becky is heading to the Arctic for yet another underwater adventure. To see more of their award-winning work, go to www.LiquidProductionsLLC.com
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