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British man becomes first person to swim across Hoover Dam

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

PHOENIX — A British man has become the first person to swim across the Hoover Dam on the border of Arizona and Nevada — and live to tell the tale.

According to The Sun, Arron Hughes, a 28-year-old forklift driver from North Wales, was arrested after taking a 30-minute swim across the dam on Aug. 8.

Hughes only survived the swim across the “deadly dam” because, according to the publication, “nine of its ten hydroelectric turbines were off.” If all of the turbines were on, Hughes would have been easily dragged under the water.

Hughes told The Sun that he went in the water on a visit to the dam, saying that “It was so hot that as soon as we arrived, I jumped in. Then I just thought, ‘Why not keep going?’”

According to BBC, Hughes planned to just take a small dip, but “then I thought ‘I can make this,’ so I swam across, I made it from Arizona to Nevada,” he said. He also said he didn’t realize that it was a crime.

But the daredevil said the stunt wasn’t a walk in the park: “I was sucked towards the wall and had to swim hard. At the other side I was exhausted. Then I heard police shout.”

Nearly 300 people have died trying to swim across the 725-foot high structure in the past decade alone. Hughes said that Nevada police “couldn’t believe it because I was the only person who had made it across alive.”

“[The police] said they weren’t going to send me to jail as I was the only person who had ever achieved it,” he said.

But Hughes didn’t get off scot-free: He was handcuffed at the scene and issued a ticket for $330. The ticket, according to BBC, listed the offense as “jumping, diving, swimming from dam’s spillways or other structures.”

 

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