If you own a boat and/or a dock, take steps now to help prevent a tragedy. The Energy Education Council’s Safe Electricity program advises, “Prevent deadly shocks. Check your boats and docks.”
July 2012 saw some horrific fatal accidents near boats and boat docks. A 26-year-old woman was swimming with family in the Lake of the Ozarks and was electrocuted when she touched an energized dock ladder. Also at Lake of the Ozarks, a 13-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother received fatal electrical shocks while swimming near a private dock; officials cited an improperly grounded circuit as the cause. In Tennessee, two boys, ages 10 and 11, lost their lives as they were shocked while swimming between houseboats on Cherokee Lake, a result of on-board generator current apparently entering the water through frayed wires beneath the boat.
An important step in helping prevent such tragedies is to ensure proper installation and maintenance of electrical equipment on docks and on boats. Take the time to inspect all of the electrical systems on or near the water.
Safe Electricity, along with the American Boat and Yacht Council and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers/National Electrical Contractors Association, recommends adhering to these steps in order to enhance water recreation safety and accident prevention:
Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind for your boat’s electrical system, particularly those with AC systems:
If you are in the water and feel electric current:
If you are on the dock or shore when a swimmer feels electrical current:
Learn more at SafeElectricity.org