Summer is in full swing and many families are enjoying some fun in the sun. For many that means a trip to the lake or the local marina to enjoy some boating and fishing. This is a great time to spend time as a family and make memories. Unfortunately, for some families this day in the sun can turn to tragedy. How you ask? Electric shock drowning.
What is electric shock drowning?
Electric shock drowning is a cause of death that occurs when swimmers are exposed to electric currents in the water. This can happen anywhere electricity is provided near water, however the majority of time, this occurs near docks and marinas. The main cause of electric shock drowning is faulty wiring on boats or docks. This will cause electric current to leak into the water. Swimmers in the area will be shocked by the current which can lead to paralysis, making the swimmer unable to help themselves.
Safety tips to help keep you safe.
Our friends at McNeil & Co recently saw an increase and claims and put together some great tips. A few recommendations were to:
- Make sure all electrical outlets near your water front have ground fault protection.
- All wiring needs to be housed in proper conduit and protected from water exposure. Always call a licensed electrician if you’re experiencing issues with your power.
- Post Electric Shock Warning Signs near boat docks, ramps, or any location where electricity is used near the water front.
- DO NOT use common household extension cords to provide power to your dock or boat. Encourage boaters to use shore power cords built to UL standards.
- Test the GFCI/ELCI at least once a month or per the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Check any pool areas for these same hazards.
- Set up a regular inspection cycle and checklist to monitor the conditions of all areas where water and electricity are present.
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What to do if someone is experiencing electric shock drowning?
If someone is swimming and you think they are being shocked, remember these 3 tips.
- Call for help
- Turn the power off
- Reach or throw them help, but DO NOT go in.
Remember, we are here to help you keep your family protected. For more tips or to review your boat or homeowners insurance policy, call your agent today.