Shocking dangers lurking where you swim

Shocking dangers lurking where you swim

There are hidden dangers lurking near boats, docks and marinas. If those hazards are not addressed, they could cause critical injuries and even death.

Electric shock drowning occurs when someone comes into contact with electrified water. When the current is strong enough, it can cause skeletal muscular paralysis, preventing any electrocuted individual to swim to a safe location. Because there are no visible signs to tell if water is energized, electrical shock drowning is often referred to as a silent killer.

According to experts, there are ways to swim safely and prevent electrical shock drowning.

Avoiding electric shock drowning:

  • Never swim near docks or marinas. Faulty wiring, damaged cords or electrical devices can energize the surrounding water.
  • Do not swim near a boat while it’s running.
  • Obey all ‘No Swimming’ signs.
  • Use licensed electricians to do any electrical work on your boat, dock or marina.
  • Inspect all electrical work near docks, marinas and boats before entering the surrounding water.

Responding to electric shock drowning:

  • If you’re in the water and you feel a shock or a tingle, swim away from the boat, dock or marina.
  • Turn off power to any nearby electrical source.
  • Call 911.
  • Do not enter the water. Use a life ring and try to move the shocked individual away from the power source. If you enter the water, you could be electrocuted too.
  • Begin CPR or use an artificial electrical defibrillator (AED) until first responders arrive.
  • Report electrical shock to marina, dock or boat owner.

The best way to keep your loved ones from falling victim to electric shock drowning is through education and prevention. Spread the word about the dangers of electrical shock drowning and be sure you’re using precautions when swimming near boats, docks and marinas.

Sources: safeelectrcity.org, electricshockdrowning.org

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