One Welsh man is dam lucky.
Aaron Huges was in Las Vegas for a bachelor party when he decided to do something risky — swim across the Hoover Dam. Just how risky was this maneuver? He is the first person believed to have swum the dam and survived to tell the tale, but his celebration didn’t last long. A $330 fine was waiting for him once he reached the other side of the river.
Huges and his group were visiting the Hoover Dam on the Arizona side when he became a bit hot and decided to go for a dip. At first, he was just going to hop in and come back out, but when he was in the water he decided he could make it all the way across to Nevada. It only took him about 30 minutes to go to cross the river and make it back to his friends, all while wearing sneakers.
But he was lucky. Nine of the dam’s 10 turbines were off when he swam across. Hoover Dam officials explain that if they were on, he would have for sure been sucked in. Huges did feel a little resistance when he was swimming and that was the only moment he got nervous. Because of this, he did get a good workout since swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise because the swimmer is moving against the water’s resistance. Now considering still water is over 10 times more resistant than air, just one turbine in the dam can cause resistance much more powerful than even the strongest swimmer is used to.
When Huges got back to his friends, police officers were waiting for him. He explained what happened next to the BBC:
“I was handcuffed and taken back to their office at the dam. They were like ‘nobody has ever done this before.’ So in the end I just got a fine.”
On his ticket, the Nevada police list the offense as “jumping, diving, swimming from dam’s spillways or other structures.”
Huges, on the other hand, explained that he didn’t know it was an offense to swim because there weren’t any signs posted.
The Hoover Dam lies on the Colorado River right in between Nevada and Arizona. It is 726 feet tall, has 17 turbines, and produces 4 billion kilowatt-hours of energy every year.