The Hoover Dam, named as one of the top ten construction achievements of the 20th century, is a concrete arch-gravity dam situated in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River on the Nevada-Arizona border. It is one of the largest power plants in the world. The iconic dam, also known as the Boulder Dam, is the best-known waterway in America. The construction took 30 years to complete and, after its creation 80 years ago, is still a massive tourist attraction.
Named after President Herbert Hoover, it stands 726 high and has a span over the river of some 660 feet. The seventeen giant hydroelectric turbines generate on average four billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power each year, serving 1.3 million people in California, Nevada and Arizona.
In the past 10 years, 275 people have died attempting to swim across the 660-feet stretch of water, despite swimmers being banned from the reservoir because of the risk of being sucked into the turbines. This, however, did not stop a 28-year-old British man, who is the first man ever to survive swimming from one side to the other. He was on his first ever trip to Las Vegas with a group of men on a stag-do and had just completed a 37-hour drinking session when the group decided to visit the Hoover Dam. Because it was very hot in the back of the vehicle he was traveling in, he decided to go for a swim, unaware of the fact that swimmers were banned. The strong influence of alcohol gave him the courage to jump in. It took him 30 minutes to get across the stretch of water, and he said it was hard going. It is thought that the fact that there was only one turbine switched on helped him survive the feat. The police were quick to arrest him but were flabbergasted that he had survived; he was later released with a fine of £250 for his misdemeanor.
Adventure days out are popular worldwide, particularly for stag-dos. Things like a Tank Driving Day from www.armourgeddon.co.uk would be a whole lot safer than swimming across a notorious dam.
This guy was very lucky to survive his prank; perhaps he will be more careful in the future and seek slightly safer thrills.