WW2 Landing Craft Emerges From Bottom Of Lake As Water Levels Drop
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A World War 2 era landing craft is among the many discoveries that have been made at Lake Mead as its waters reach historic lows.
The Higgins vessel, 1,500 of which were deployed at D-Day, was once submerged beneath the depths of the Nevada reservoir, but now half of the boat can be seen due to the ongoing megadrought in America’s west.
While it's unclear why this particular landing craft sank, according to diving tour company Las Vegas Scuba, it was used to survey the Colorado River decades ago before being sold to Lake Mead Marina.
Speaking about the vessel's unexpected appearance, the National Park Service said in a statement: "As water levels continue to fluctuate and decline, we know that this boat may come to the attention of park visitors both new and returning.
"Lake Mead hopes everyone has the opportunity to learn more about its history and ask that as visitors enjoy the site, they leave it as they found it to avoid damaging the boat."
The Higgins vehicle is one of the less grisly historical discoveries of late, with authorities also uncovering the human remains of two people.
In early May, a barrel containing a dead body was found at the large lake, and investigators later ruled the death to be a homicide resulting from a gunshot wound.
Just days after, National Park Service rangers received a witness report of another set of human skeletal remains.
Police believe the initial victim was killed sometime in the mid-70s to early-80s due to the clothing and footwear they were wearing.
Some speculated whether the death was linked to the mafia as it unfolded at a time when mob-connected casinos were rife in Las Vegas.
But right now local experts are more concerned about the reservoir's declining water levels, with some suggesting the lake could become a 'dead pool' – when levels are too low to pass water through the dam.
While there's still a way to go until it reaches this point, Robert Glennon – an emeritus professor at the University of Arizona and an expert on water policy and law – told NBC News that it could hinder the generation of hydroelectric power.
"Electricity generation in our western reservoirs becomes a problem as the water level in the reservoirs goes down," he said.
Glennon explained that officials are having to take 'dramatic' action to curb the issue, adding: "This is the 23rd year of drought, and we don't know if it's a 23-year drought, a 50-year drought or maybe it's a 100-year drought.
"We just don't know what's going to turn this around."
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Topics: News, US News, World War 2
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