Neil Swidey: Trapped Under The Sea

WED, FEB 26, 2014 (54:07)

“The harrowing story of five men who were sent into a dark, airless, miles-long tunnel, hundreds of feet below the ocean, to do a nearly impossible job’with deadly results. A quarter-century ago, Boston had the dirtiest harbor in America. The city had been dumping sewage into it for generations, coating the seafloor with a layer of “”black mayonnaise.”” Fisheries collapsed, wildlife fled, and locals referred to floating tampon applicators as “”beach whistles.”” In the 1990s, work began on a state-of-the-art treatment plant and a 10-mile-long tunnel’its endpoint stretching farther from civilization than the earth’s deepest ocean trench’to carry waste out of the harbor. With this impressive feat of engineering, Boston was poised to show the country how to rebound from environmental ruin. But when bad decisions and clashing corporations endangered the project, a team of commercial divers was sent on a perilous mission to rescue the stymied cleanup effort. Five divers went in; not all of them came out alive. Suspenseful yet humane, Trapped Under the Sea reminds us that behind every bridge, tower, and tunnel’behind the infrastructure that makes modern life possible’lies unsung bravery and extraordinary sacrifice.”

+ BIO: Neil Swidey

Neil Swidey is author of _Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles Into the Darkness._ He also wrote _The Assist_ and was a coauthor of _Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy_. A staff writer for The Boston Globe Magazine, Neil lives outside Boston with his wife and three daughters.

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