I received a copy of the lifeline safety study recently after waiting over five months. During the wait for the seven-page study to be produced, 14 more people drowned in the All-American Canal, including a husband and wife. That comes out to two deaths per page and rising.
My comments on the safety study can be summarized as:
1. Buffington was not qualified to perform the study. His inflated resume was 12 pages and listed a career in criminal justice and mine safety. Included were every course he had taken since high school. These include such topics as "Managing Interpersonal Relationships," "Basic Safety During Gas Cutting and Welding Operations." "OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program," "Mine Rescue Training." There is zero experience cited with water safety. There was no indication he had ever even been near a canal or water hazard during his entire career.
2. He cites surface speeds of 8 to 10 mph and undertow speeds of 15 to 20 mph. In other parts of the report he cites surface speeds of 5 to 8 mph and undertows near buried objects of 16 to 18 mph. These are based on his discussions with Imperial Irrigation District employees. He then cites "the undertow is similar to someone grabbing your foot and even the strongest swimmers cannot free themselves." I agree undertows exist at all the drops 1-4 and that is why IID itself has installed safety lines at those locations.