April 30, 2005 in Nation/World

Sea lion rescued from plant”s water intake tank

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – A 300-pound sea lion was released into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday after spending nearly 10 days inside a municipal power plant’s water intake tank.

The mammal, which dodged previous rescue attempts and appeared comfortable in the tank, fell asleep on a cargo net inside a boat that rescue workers lowered into the tank at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power plant in Playa del Rey, authorities said.

Rescue workers hoisted the sea lion out at daybreak Wednesday, said DWP spokeswoman Kim Hughes.

The sea lion became trapped April 18 in the 60-by-30 tank after it swam through a pipe that feeds into the ocean and squeezed through a gap in a fence designed to keep out large sea mammals.

Water in the tank is used to cool turbines that generate electricity.

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