Lake Keowee – SCUBA Diving the “Hot Hole”

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Lake Keowee and the Oconee Nuclear Station are located near Clemson, South Carolina. The water of the lake is used to cool the nuclear station, then this heated water is released back into the lake at a high rate of speed, hence the nickname “Hot Hole.”

scuba diving the hot holeOne of the draws to the area is the ability to dive any time, even during the winter. The water comes out of the plant 75-80 degrees with the surrounding water at approximately 68 degrees. The temperatures are this warm even if the outside temperatures are in the 20s.

The other draw to this location is the extreme current that is produced by the station. The hot water comes out of the plant with great force straight out into the lake. Divers come in from the side or from above this current, then purposely drop into, propelling them at high speeds out into the lake, in what is known as drift diving.

Some people describe their experience as if they were flying. Some people describe it as being shot out of a cannon for 100 yards in just a few seconds. It offers a rush that nothing else can.

It costs $40 per person to dive into the Hot Hole, with a minimum of 5 people to set up a charter. This includes a trip on an enclosed, heated pontoon boat out to the dive site in the winter months.

You will need to bring your own gear in order to dive, or use rental equipment from the dive shop.

For information or to schedule a dive contact the Jocassee Dive Shop by clicking the link.


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