A scuba diver had the fright of his life when he was sucked into a quarter of a mile long water intake pipe for a nuclear power plant.
Christopher Le Cun was scuba diving when he lost all control in a strong current leading into the pipe, which sucks in 500,000 gallons of water per minute for the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant in Florida.
Once he was pulled in, the powerful suction in the 16-foot diameter pipe was just too strong for Le Cun to fight.
All Le Cun could think about at the time was that his wife and kids were back on the boat. Just when he thought there was no way out, he was spat out of the pipe and into water surrounded by all kinds of fish. He soon realised he’d been deposited into the pond that surrounds the nuclear power plant. Surrounding him in the pond were tarpons, Goliath groupers and other fish that didn’t make the trip through the pipe alive.
He then saw a worker who asked him how he got in there. When Le Cun told him the man said he was lucky because they were all getting ready to leave for the night. He asked to borrow the man’s cell phone so he could call his wife, but not recognizing the number she didn’t answer because she had 911 and the Coast Guard on the other line over her missing husband.
Le Cun has since filed a lawsuit against the Florida Power and Light Company (FPL), claiming the intake pipe was not marked and there was no posted warning of any danger. The FPL officials say that the pipe was marked and that there was a protective cap on the pipe to stop objects from getting in.
Le Cun did say there was something on the opening of the pipe, but it didn’t stop him from being sucked into it. The “cap wasn’t designed to keep anybody or anything out,” said Le Cun.
In fact Le Cun isn’t the first scuba diver to get sucked into the very same pipe. In 1989 William Lamm went through an identical harrowing experience at the very same location. Like Le Cun, Lamm described five minutes of terror while swirling through the pipe until he was spat out into the pond.
After his experience in the pipe, Lamm gave up on scuba diving altogether.