Posted by Rick_C on November 16, 2016 at 06:32:35:|
In Reply to: Re: power plant pipes posted by Max Bottomtime on November 15, 2016 at 20:40:54:
Here's an article with additional information on the power plant pipes:
A man who went missing while diving off Manhattan Beach was found dead Monday morning inside a pipe connected to the El Segundo power plant.
Rescue workers from the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division, along with the U.S. Coast Guard and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, found the body at 10:38 a.m. in an intake-outtake pipe belonging to the El Segundo Energy Center, according to Spencer Parker, a public information officer with the lifeguard division. The body is now in the custody of the county coroner, and sheriffs are leading the death investigation.
Although Parker’s statement did not name the diver, the Coast Guard previously identified him as Jeff Tolly, 45.
The pipe in which Tolly was found runs from the power plant and out to sea under a rock jetty, then pops up from the sea floor about a quarter mile beyond the jetty’s end, Parker said. Lifeguards have been in contact with the plant, which is operated by Houston-based NRG Energy.
The power plant once used the pipe to draw in water for the plant’s cooling system, but per California law, the facility no longer relies on ocean-water cooling, according to Dave Knox, communications director at NRG. The new system, which debuted three years ago, relies on a combustion turbine, and does not use ocean water for cooling.
The pipe still takes a “low amount” of water twice a week and pushes it out to prevent silt from building up, but was not operating Sunday or Monday, Knox said. Additionally, Knox said that the force with which the pipe draws in water is not capable of sucking in a person.
It was not immediately clear how the incident would impact the plant’s operation, but Knox said NRG was cooperating with the sheriff’s department in the investigation.
“Our focus right now is supporting local state authorities doing their investigation. We don’t want to do anything to get in the way,” he said.
Authorities believe that Tolly and a friend motored up the coast from the Huntington Beach area Sunday morning, eventually anchoring about three miles north of the Manhattan Pier, according to Sondra-Kay Kneen, petty officer first class with the U.S. Coast Guard Base Los Angeles Long Beach. The pair had come to fish in the underwater structures in which Tolly was later found dead, according to Parker.
Tolly’s friend who remained on the boat, fishing from the deck while Tolly went scuba diving, Kneen said. Tolly’s friend called the Coast Guard to report Tolly missing about 11 a.m. Sunday, but it was not immediately clear how long Tolly had been in the water when his friend contacted the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard and Los Angeles County Lifeguards deployed rescue units throughout the day on Sunday in their search for Tolly. Lifeguards used an Underwater Rescue and Recovery vehicle and sonar to search beneath the waves, Parker said. The Coast Guard were using a 45-foot response boat, two 87-foot patrol boats, and a MH 65 Dolphin helicopter, Kneen said.
While the coast guard continued to look for the diver throughout Sunday night, the underwater search was suspended at nightfall on Sunday, and resumed Monday morning, Parker said. The National Weather Service had issued a high-surf advisory through Sunday evening, with a West-Northwest swell generating large waves at local beaches. A beach hazard statement was declared through Wednesday.
It was not known whether or not Tolly was an experienced diver, Kneen said, but she urged all divers to be careful and follow safety protocol.
The area surrounding Dockweiler State Beach has a number of underwater structures, pipes and rock piles, and as a result is known as a good place for lobster diving, Parker said. But he said it was uncommon for divers to get ensnared inside them, and discouraged others from trying.
“It’s not a very common practice to go inside these pipes. And we definitely advise against it, going into that confined space,” Parker said.