A scuba diver on a nighttime search for lobsters was sucked into a power plant's seawater intake pipe and trapped in a catch basin for two hours.
As John Vincent was stuck against the grate-covered catch basin Friday night, he drew the attention of plant workers by banging his weight belt on a valve and waving his dive light, said sheriff's deputy Guy Van Sickle.When Vincent was finally pulled out by firefighters, he had two lobsters in his hands.
Vincent, 36, of Venice, said he was diving off Dockweiler State Beach when he was caught by the flow of the plant's intake and pulled through a quarter-mile-long pipe.
"I wasn't sure where it was going to lead," Vincent said. "My heart was pumping. I looked at my air, I looked at my compass, which said I was heading east into this plant."
Vincent was not in danger of going through a pump because seawater flows by gravity into the catch basin, and pumps draw it from there into the power plant, said Ed Freudenburg, spokesman for the city Department of Water and Power. The pipe provides cooling water for power production.