Diver Gets Sucked Into Pipe At Nuclear Power Plant

| by Reve Fisher
Scuba diver underwaterScuba diver underwater

A diver who was sucked into a pipe at a nuclear power plant has filed a lawsuit.

Christopher Le Cun, a scuba diving expert, is at least the second man who has been sucked into an intake pipe at the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Le Cun has filed a lawsuit against Florida Power and Light for negligence for lack of safety precautions, WPTV News reports. In 1989, William Lamm suffered the same fate, an experience he described as “devastating,” the United Press International reported at the time.

The recent incident occurred on July 12, 2015, when Le Cun went to Hutchinson Island to go boating and scuba diving with his wife, children and friends.

The group saw a yellow buoy and decided to approach the structure. Le Cun and his best friend, Robert Blake, tied the boat to the buoy and swam closer to explore.

"I felt a little bit of current,” Le Cun told WPTV News. “All of a sudden it got a little quicker and I said, 'This ain't right, this ain't right.”

“He got sucked in like a wet noodle,” Blake said. “He just, poof, gone.”

Blake reportedly rushed back to the boat and screamed that Le Cun was gone. He said he thought he “saw [his] friend die.”

The ride through the 16-foot wide intake pipe lasted close to five minutes and Le Cun said he thought he was about to die. Eventually, he ended up in a brightly-lit reservoir and cried out for help until an employee spotted him.

Le Cun called his wife’s cellphone three times before she answered, as she was talking to emergency services and didn’t recognize the number.

"She picks up and she just goes, 'Hello' and I said, 'I'm alive,'" Le Cun said.

Le Cun and Blake said there were “no warnings whatsoever" near the pipe, but Florida Power and Light disagreed.

According to the company, the buoy near the pipe reads, "Stay back 100 feet."

“Nothing is more important safety at our St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plants, which is a reason that we have a protective over the intake piping,” the company stated. “The diver intentionally swam into one of the intake pipes after bypassing a piece of equipment to minimize the entry of objects.”

Le Cun said he is hesitant to go scuba diving again, adding he’s only been back in the water once since the incident, CNN reports.

“Maybe someday I'll do it again,” he said.

Sources: WPTV, CNN, United Press International / Photo Credit: WPTV, WPTV via PIX 11

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