clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

7 Descriptions of Diving in the La Brea Tar Pits From the Only Guy Who's Done It

New, 14 comments

The LAPD sent a diver into the La Brea Tar Pits yesterday to try to recover evidence in an old, "high profile" murder investigation (they'd apparently been planning it for weeks)--they were successful, recovering "multiple items," according to the LA Times. That's great, but more importantly, what happens on a dive into the tar pits?? According to a rep for the Page Museum (as quoted by ABC News), "This is the first time someone has been submer[g]ed in the pits, in my recent memory." Luckily for all of us, Sergeant David Mascarenas of LAPD's dive team dished all the details to several news outlets:

-- "Despite bubbling tar, methane gas and other toxic chemicals, LAPD Sgt. David Mascarenas spent an hour diving some 17 feet deep in the murky sludge searching for evidence," according to ABC7
-- "'I've been under moving ships, in underwater reservoir sheds ... you name it,' Mascarenas said. 'This is by far the craziest thing I've ever done'," he tells the LA Times.
-- "Mascarenas said he was surprised by the topography of the pit, which he said included protrusions of tar that looked like small mountains. 'The methane gas was pushing up tar in pinnacle-like fashion,' Mascarenas said.
-- "I would squeeze the cylindrical columns and they would pop and I heard the gas burp ... The tar ... went all over my face and arms."
-- "During the dive, he said, he got in a couple of tight spots, once when his fins became stuck to the bottom and another time when his communications line became pinned to a pipe."
-- "Visibility was zero. I could pretty much not see my hand until I put it up to my face."
-- "He admits his protective suit leaked and he got a little sick ... 'The contact with the chemicals and the fumes, the methane gas, and so forth, caused me to get a little dizzy and a little lightheaded.'"
· Police find evidence linked to homicide in La Brea Tar Pits [LAT]
· LAPD diver searches La Brea Tar Pits for evidence in 2011 murder [ABC7]

La Brea Tar Pits

5801 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036