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Diver sucked in by a water intake pipe for a nuclear power plant

The unusual accident occurred on 12 July 2015 in Florida, USA. During a dive, Christopher Le Cun was sucked up by a pipe supplying water to the St Lucie nuclear power plant and ended up inside. Now the unlucky diver is suing the owner of the power plant, who denies all allegations and claims that
Published: March 7, 2016 - 19:05
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 12:59
Diver sucked in by a water intake pipe for a nuclear power plant

The unusual accident occurred on 12 July 2015 in Florida, USA. During a dive, Christopher Le Cun was sucked up by a pipe supplying water to the St Lucie nuclear power plant and ended up inside. Now the unlucky diver is suing the owner of the power plant, who denies all allegations and claims that the diver entered the power plant intentionally.

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The water intake system delivers 2 million litres per minute to the power station and, according to the owner, the whole area is well signposted to avoid similar accidents. In contrast, the victim says he saw no warnings and when he was sucked inside the plant he was sure it was over and he would die soon. The journey inside the water intake system took about five minutes, during which Le Cun thought of his loved ones waiting for him on the boat.

“I saw a small light in the distance, as if someone had lit a match. It spit me out into that light in a tunnel where there were tons of fish. Granica itajara, Atlantic tarpon, many other fish I don’t know,” – Le Cun said.

However, the unlucky diver was lucky enough to be spotted almost immediately by an employee of the power station. As it turned out, the working day was coming to an end and if the whole incident had happened a few minutes later, Christopher Le Cun would have had to wait for rescue until the next morning. By this time, his concerned wife had already called the police, informing them that her husband had not surfaced.

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The victim of an unusual diving accident is now suing Florida Power & Light Co, which manages the power station, for the damage he suffered and the danger he was exposed to. He argues his case on the basis of the lack of any warnings at the site where the water is drawn.

In an interview with CNN, Greg Brostowicz, representing the company, presented a completely different view. According to him, Le Cun went inside the pipe ignoring warnings in the area and bypassing a special safety device designed to minimise the risk of sucking in unwanted objects. He also explains that there is a buoy, measuring 2.5 metres, on the surface above the water intake area, which informs the public that they are not allowed to go within 30 metres.

This is not the first such accident at this power station, but the last case was 27 years ago in 1989.

Source: fox29.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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