Monday 18 December 2017

'Drunk' tourist thought to be the first person to survive swim across Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam in the United States. Credit: Richard Nowitz, Getty Images
The Hoover Dam in the United States. Credit: Richard Nowitz, Getty Images

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith

A man from north Wales has been fined $330 (€276) by American police after he swam across the Hoover Dam on a stag do, apparently making himself the first person to make it across the reservoir alive.

Arron Hughes, a 28-year-old forklift driver, had reportedly been partying for 37 hours in Nevada when he decided to jump into the water and swim across it.

“It was around 45-40 degrees outside and we were on a stag do in Vegas. You go to Vegas to have fun, don’t you? We made The Hangover look tame,” he told the Daily Post.

“We were all just standing there, and I thought, f*** it! I’m going for a swim.”

Mr Hughes said his friends cheered him on as he swam across the Colorado River, which borders the states of Nevada and Arizona.

He said the swim took around 30 minutes but admitted he felt “knackered” half way across, but knew he had to make it to the other side as he could feel the water pulling him towards the dam.

Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam

“I was sucked towards the wall and had to swim hard. At the other side I was exhausted. Then I heard police shout,” he told The Sun.

He was handcuffed and arrested by Nevada police after making it across the water in front of the 726ft structure, and fined $330 (€276) for “jumping, diving, swimming from dam’s spillways or other structures”.

The forklift driver is only thought to have survived as nine of the dam’s 10 turbines were switched off at the time.

“One officer said, ‘In my whole lifetime I’ve never seen or heard of anyone doing it’,” Mr Hughes told MailOnline, while admitting his decision to go for a swim had been “fuelled by drink”.

Some 275 people have reportedly died at the site in the last 10 years.

“I don’t have any regrets,” Mr Hughes told the BBC. “I even have a tattoo saying ‘no regrets,’ that’s the type of person I am.”

Independent News Service

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