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scuba diver sucked into pipe survives?
07-05-2005, 06:13 PM,
scuba diver sucked into pipe survives?
i found this on the site..... ??? :o

Scuba diver sucked into pipe survives

PORT SHELDON, Michigan (3 July 2005) -- Forty feet below the Lake Michigan surface and a third of a mile off shore, one moment diver Joan Eddy was there.

And then she wasn't.

As her three frantic companions feared the worst, Eddy on Saturday was sucked through an 8-foot water intake pipe for the Consumers Energy J.H. Campbell power plant near Pigeon Lake in Ottawa County.

Eddy, 40, of Grayling, tumbled in total darkness through the pipe nearly a half-mile before she emerged seven minutes later in an open-air canal inside plant property.

Her only injury: a bloody nose.

"She was very lucky," said Dennis McKee, Consumers Energy's director of public affairs for power plants.

McKee confirmed that the pipe located 1,700 feet off shore has no grate on it nor warning signs nearby. He said a diver should avoid danger by staying clear of the pipe.

"It is a diver's responsibility to use all due caution whenever they dive, whether it be in a shipwreck or in caves or near an intake for an industrial facility," McKee said.

McKee said it is the only incident of its type in 25 years.

Diving with her husband and two others, Eddy disappeared shortly after 11 a.m. They surfaced and called 911. Search and rescue divers were called and an extensive air and water search began.

Consumers also was notified. An employee spotted her climbing up the banks of the plant's intake canal, a body of water about a quarter-mile long in a fenced-in area. She was assisted with removing her diving equipment and given medical attention at the site, McKee said. Rescuers said her only injury was a bloody nose.

An hour later she was reunited with her husband at the Pigeon Lake boat ramp, where he arrived with the 38-foot Chris-Craft boat from which they had been diving. Even before he stepped out of the boat, the two embraced tightly.

Through Port Sheldon Deputy Fire Chief Mike Ter Vree, she declined to talk about her ordeal.

"She's been on a helluva ride," said Ter Vree, who made headlines in 1996 when he made a dramatic rescue of an 8-year-old girl swept into Holland's street sewer system.

The extensive rescue operation also included sheriff's deputies, the county dive team and marine patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard, a helicopter, and rescue boats from area townships.

McKee said there is no warning sign near the mouth of intake pipes because they would be quickly overgrown with weeds.

"The incident is under review," he said.

Consumers brings in water from Lake Michigan to cool turbines and generators that produce electricity. Water flows in the pipe at six feet per second, McKee said.

Consumers is one of many companies that have intake pipes in Lake Michigan.

Holland has bars across its intake pipe for the Board of Public Works treatment plant near Tunnel Park. The bars are about a foot apart on the 42-inch-wide pipe, which is 45 feet below the surface and 4,500 feet from shore.

"I don't believe a person could fit through it," said John Van Uffelen, water plan director.

Veteran diver Jim Broersma, 35, of Zeeland, said he was diving with a buddy at a wreck site near Saugatuck when they heard radio traffic about the missing diver. They offered assistance and reached the scene after Eddy had been found.

Broersma said he doesn't understand why the pipe is not protected.

"They should have had a grate on it. When you are in an enclosed environment like that, there is no escape. Let's say the woman was just about out of air. She would have been in trouble."

SOURCE - Grand Rapids Press

Last edited by medical1 : Yesterday at 11:42 AM.
07-05-2005, 07:58 PM,
Re: scuba diver sucked into pipe survives?
Wow.  That is one heck of a ride I bet.  Could actually be kind of fun if you were expecting it Smile
07-05-2005, 10:12 PM,
Re: scuba diver sucked into pipe survives?
she's lucky they don't use some sort of impellor system.  It would suck getting dragged thru the blades Sad

how do they usually drag water into ponds like that? some sort of air lift type system?
07-06-2005, 01:54 PM,
Re: scuba diver sucked into pipe survives?
Man, that really must have sucked.  Tongue
07-06-2005, 07:28 PM,
Re: scuba diver sucked into pipe survives?
pun intended?
07-06-2005, 08:00 PM,
Re: scuba diver sucked into pipe survives?
I hope so  ;D
07-06-2005, 08:30 PM,
Re: scuba diver sucked into pipe survives?
(07-05-2005, 10:12 PM)scubert link Wrote: she's lucky they don't use some sort of impellor system.  It would suck getting dragged thru the blades Sad

how do they usually drag water into ponds like that? some sort of air lift type system?

A good ride at about 4 MPH which is a good river current and a very normal speed for flow systems like this.

Often the water flows by gravity into a facility like this to the penstock.  Trying to suck the water this far results in Net Positive Suction Head problems, which wreck the pump or do not allow it to work at all.  The pumps are then fed from the penstock.  This allows for maintenance and gives the fish a way to escape.  There usually is a grate of some type to get the big chunks out to protect the pump impellers and downstream equipment.

In systems that do not have the long suction pipe like this, the penstock is much closer.  In some cases where a large volume and low head is needed, an Archimedes Screw can be used.  This would truly be a wild ride.

I have seen all of these designs used, would not ike to ride any of them.


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