Sadly, the past weekend saw two fatalities linked to swimming near boat docks. An 11-year-old girl in New Jersey was electrocuted when she touched a charged boat lift, and a 19-year-old young man died as a result of jumping into electrically charged water in an attempt to save his father and the family dog, which were also struggling with the electrical current. It’s an all-too-common summertime tragedy that is preventable.
Electricity deaths in the water fall into two categories: electrocution, which occurs when a swimmer touches an electrically charged piece of metal, and electric shock drowning, which happens when current gets into — usually fresh or brackish — water. While Yachting has some tips for preventing these events here, further tips include:
- Having an electrician inspect the dock
- Installing ground-fault protection on boats and docks
- Periodically testing your boat for electrical leakage
- Being aware of your surroundings while swimming
For more information on the subject, head over to BoatUs.com.