Bill Thompson –
For a few years at the end of the Eisenhower administration Hollywood legend Lloyd Bridges used the once gin-clear output of Silver Springs as the set for a TV show based on a scuba diver.
Over 155 episodes of the adventure series “Sea Hunt” — more than 100 of which were filmed at Silver Springs — Bridges portrayed Mike Nelson, a one-time Navy frogman who in the space of 30 minutes, as the online version of Skin Diver magazine once noted, “got into trouble, got out of trouble, rescued a damsel, caught the bad guys and neatly wrapped things up with a safety message.”
Now that Silver Springs is slated to become a state park, and enticing ecotourists is viewed as a must, a drive is on to open up the waterway to the ranks of contemporary Mike Nelsons.
This week the County Commission directed County Administrator Lee Niblock to research what steps are necessary to allow scuba divers to return to the springs — who, except under certain circumstances, have been banned for a generation.
Some commissioners see the financial sense in doing so.