Sessions target double danger: Electricity and the waterways

Published 7:49 am Friday, June 13, 2014

More and more people will take to the area’s waterways to beat the summer heat in the coming weeks.
But dangers lurk beneath the surface – some not as well-known as others.
One of those is electric shock drowning — when swimmers enter the water and are shocked.
The severity depends on the amount of electricity conducting through the water: In mild cases, swimmers feel a shock but are able to safely get out of the water; in severe instances, the swimmer experiences more severe trauma and can go into cardiac arrest and drown.
Lakeshore Marina will host two informational sessions Saturday on the electric shock drowning, the first from 10 to 11 a.m. and the second from 2 to 3 p.m. at The Captain’s Table restaurant.
Lakeshore employee Hailey Kinner explained that electric shock drowning can happen when faulty wiring or other electrical issues result in current entering the water.
“The sessions will tell what electric shock drowning is, how to avoid it and the risks,” Kinner said.
She noted the problem of electric shock drowning is only present in freshwater situations, and most frequently happens around marinas or docks where boats or other electricity-producing facilities are.
According to the Boat Owners Association of the United States, the American Boat and Yacht Council adopted new standards in 2010 that require all boats to have an equipment leakage circuit interrupter installed to protect against electric shock drowning incidents.
But those standards are not required by law, which means some boats don’t have the equipment in place. The BOA of the U.S. recommends that the best course of action be to not swim near docks energized with power.
Lakeshore asks that individuals interested in attending the sessions call 725-2201 extension 307.
The sessions are part of National Marina Day.

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