Frogman braves cold, explores underwater worlds

By Ma Chi and Feng Zhiwei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-01-04 17:22
Yang Xiaguang, a frogman, emerges from the water after a diving operation. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

For many people, dragging themselves out of bed on a chilly winter morning is a daunting task. However, there's a group of people known as frogmen, who have to dive into freezing water for hours, even when the temperature drops below zero, reported Xiaoxiang Morning Herald.

One such frogman is Yang Xiaguang, who has worked in underwater worlds for 20 years. Each year, he spends more than 200 days underwater, performing various tasks ranging from clearing mud to piling up sand bags.

"The most difficult time is the winter. The water temperature is low, and the biting cold leaves my body numb," said Yang.

On the second day of 2019, the temperature in Changsha, Hunan province, was -2 C. Yang warmed himself up by the Xiangjiang River for a diving task to inspect leak points on the cofferdam for a flood prevention project.

Before entering the water, Yang carefully checked the diving equipment, including the oxygen apparatus, air pipe, helmet and walkie-talkie. "It is cold, so if the air pipe is blocked, it would be dangerous," he said.

Besides the diving equipment, he also needs to carry a 20-kilogram lead weight to prevent himself from floating up.

Once under the water, it was pitch black and Yang could not see anything or identify the direction. He fumbled his way forward and felt leak points on the wall of the cofferdam using his bare hands inch by inch.

He needed to very carefully detect the water flow at every spot to ensure no leak point was missed.

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