U.S. Water News Online
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- State investigators have cited the
Department of Water Resources for safety lapses that appear to have
contributed to the deaths of two divers in the California Aqueduct
The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health offered no
conclusive reason for the February deaths of divers Tim Crawford, 50,
and Martin Alvarado, 44.
However, the workplace safety agency fined the department $16,120
for violating work force safety regulations.
Crawford and Alvarado drowned Feb. 7 while searching for mussels
on the metal trash grates at a pumping plant about 85 miles southeast
of San Jose.
The department was cited because its air compressor did not
contain a high-temperature or carbon monoxide alarm; for running one
of six pumps at the plant while the divers were underwater; for
failing to plan emergency procedures; and for other violations.
Investigators also determined that labor laws were violated when
the divers went into the fast-moving currents of the aqueduct without
a rope line to the shore.
The 75-foot-wide canal is part of the State Water Project, a
system that funnels drinking water from Northern California more than
400 miles south.
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