Summer Safety Basics: Preventing Electric Shock Drowning
There could be a silent killer in the water this summer, and no, it isn’t a shark or alligator. It’s something you might never expect: electricity.
Electric Shock Drowning
Electricity in the water might seem like an odd idea. But electrically-charged objects are all over the place, from boats to metal docks to any nearby equipment, like generators. If an electric charge escapes from these objects and enters the water, it can come into contact with people. If the swimmer comes into contact with the electric charge, they might suffer from sudden numbness or weakness, or even paralysis. They could also suffer a heart attack or other cardiovascular event from the shock. Sometimes, the initial electrocution greatly hinders their ability to swim or stay afloat, leading to drowning. When this happens, it is an electric shock drowning.
Tragically, this recently happened in a lagoon in New Jersey. A girl, who was only 11, was swimming in the lagoon with a friend when she touched a metal dock. The dock had fallen into disrepair, because the current owners did not have a boat. Therefore, they did not think to frequently inspect their dock. The corrosion of the metal caused it to carry an electric current, and the girl was electrocuted when she touched it.
Preventing Drowning On Your Premises
While this accident was a tragic mistake, it should be a reminder to homeowners to look out for any electricity dangers. If you live near the water, have a dock or boat ramp, or own a boat, make sure all equipment is up to current safety standards. Have any issues inspected, and warn any visitors about the potential hazards of electric shock drowning.
Electric shock drowning is not a well-known issue, and when people are not aware of it, they cannot take proper safety measures to prevent it. To further educate yourself, visit the website of the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association. Be careful in the water, and be a responsible homeowner to avoid any injuries on your property!
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