The riveting story of a scuba diver who thought he was going to die after he got sucked into a quarter-mile-long pipe near a nuclear power plant owned by NextEra subsidiary Florida Power & Light last July was broadcast on CNN on Tuesday.

In the video report, Christopher Le Cun recounts how while he was out diving, he went to examine area beneath a strange buoy that his boat was anchored to. While there, he got flushed into a pipe that takes in about 500,000 gallons of seawater every minute.

“When I was first sucked into the pipe, it was so turbulent it was unbelievable,” he recounted in the report. “I had to hang onto my mask. It was 20-30 seconds before I got my bearings.”

Bearings didn’t mean he felt safe. He recounted how, for at least four minutes, he had no idea where his out-of-control journey would end. He wondered whether he would survive at all.

Eventually the pipe spit him out into a water basin of St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant.

Le Cun recounted that a surprised worker asked him how he had gotten in there, and noted that the diverted diver was lucky because staff were about to leave for the night.

Le Cun is suing Florida Power & Light, according to the report, over the lack of a warning sign on the intake pipe that he says he got sucked into.

NextEra’s subsidiary, according to the report, argues that Le Cun entered the pipe intentionally and made his way around a piece of equipment aimed at limiting the entry of objects.

In 1989 another diver got sucked into one of the same nuclear plant’s in-take pipes.

The parent company of Florida Power & Light is seeking regulatory approval of its $4.3 billion bid to purchase Hawaiian Electric Industries.

CNN’s full report is online.

 

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