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April 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 43, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Urban Diving after a Rain Storm

from the April, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

One of the students of Ken Kurtis, owner of Reef Seekers Dive in Beverley Hills, CA, said he'd heard you shouldn't beach dive for 72 hours following a storm. Kurtis responded:

"Maybe, maybe not. A lot depends on whether the beach is close to storm drain runoffs. At Corral Canyon in Malibu, there's a storm drain that dumps out under the Pacific Coast Highway and cuts through the west end of the beach and into the oceans. During heavy rains, all sorts of stuff might wash down from on high and into the beach waters. Since the prevailing long shore current runs from west to east, if you dive on the western up-current side of the outfall, you might be OK. But on the eastern down-current side, you might find a higher trash/bacteria count. Just use common sense.

"Most of the time, what's really affected by the storms -- and not just at Corral -- is the visibility. So sometimes diving has nothing to do with whether it's a health issue, but simply whether or not you can see things, like your hand in front of your face."

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