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October 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Were These Divers Electrocuted?

from the October, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Electrocution is suspected as the cause of the demise of two Chinese divers on September 6th. They were part of a team mapping a submerged part of the Great Wall of China in the Panjiakou Reservoir Scenic Area of the 72-square-kilometer (28-square-mile) lake.

Professional divers, engaged in the search and recovery of the bodies of Xu Haiyan (39) and Sun Hao (34), speculate that illegal electrofishing in the reservoir, which once flooded an ancient Chinese village and that part of the Wall, was the reason they went missing.

It also goes some way to explaining why the bodies were found at 62m (201 feet) deep when they planned to work at only 30m (100 feet). The searchers say they saw many dead fish during the search, most of which had not yet started to decay. Electrocution seems to be the most plausible theory for the two divers' deaths. Despite its illegality, many local fishermen use the method due to its high rate of efficiency.

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