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February 1997 Vol. 12, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Diving That Really Sucks

from the February, 1997 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Diving That Really SucksThe urban myth of a diver being scooped out of the ocean by a helicopter fighting a forest fire and dumped on the flaming trees is finally simmering down, with only an occasional flare-up on the Internet. Now along comes "L.A. Man Diving for Lobsters Gets Sucked into Power Plant's Intake Pipe" to take its place. Not only is he sucked up a 12-foot-diameter pipe along with 60,000 gallons of water a minute, but he emerges from the holding tank inside the power plant still holding his two lobsters!

It makes a good myth, but the trouble is, this time it's a true story. While I give the diver a good thumbs up for making the ride, living to tell, and bringing home the bugs, it's definitely a thumbs down for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. A spokesperson from Water and Power assured us that the bars at the end of the tunnel were only an inch apart and that the diver's grim thoughts of being chewed up by a turbine while he was being sucked down the 1,500-foot-long pipe were for naught. However, doesn't it seem to make some sense to put a grate at the intake instead of the other end?

J. Q.

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