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sail-world.com -- Docks with faulty wiring continue to prove deadly

Docks with faulty wiring continue to prove deadly    
Thu, 18 Jul 2013

This past year over Fourth of July weekend, Alexandra Anderson, 13, and her brother, Brayden Anderson, eight, were swimming near a homeowner's dock on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri when they started to scream. By the time the siblings were pulled from the lake, they were unresponsive and a short while later were pronounced dead.

Two hours later on Cherokee Lake in Tennessee, 10-year-old Noah Winstead, died in a similar manner, while Noah's friend, 11-year-old Nate Parker Lynam, passed away the following evening. These were not drowning victims. In all four of these cases, 120-volt AC (alternating current) leakage from nearby boats or docks electrocuted or incapacitated swimmers in freshwater. This little-known and often-unidentified killer is called Electric Shock Drowning or ESD.

'Every one of these deaths was preventable,' said Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) Director of Technical Services Beth Leonard. 'Any boater and every adult who swims in a freshwater lake needs to understand how ESD happens, how to stop it from happening, and what to do - and not to do - if they ever have to help a victim.' To help them with this vital task, BoatUS has put together a new online Electric Shock Drowning Resource Center to educate and inform the public about ESD at BoatUS.com/seaworthy/ESD.asp, and offers helpful tips below.

'An effort to increase safety standards on marina docks has been underway for several years now, but few resources have been available for the general public,' said Leonard. 'ESD is a complicated subject, and what information has been available for boaters, private dock owners, and swimmers has, all too often, been inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading. Our Electric Shock Drowning Resource Center addresses this problem with a range of helpful articles and presentations, all of which have been vetted for technical accuracy. We'll continue to add to and update this material to ensure it remains a valuable source of information,' she added.

So what should boat owners, private dock owners, and swimmers do to prevent ESD?

Electric Shock Drowning: What You Need to Know From BoatUS



A diagram of how Electric Shock Drowning occurs.


In General:

In Marinas:


If You Have A Boat:


If You Have A Private Dock:

If you're in the water and you feel tingling or shocks:

 
If you have to rescue an esd victim:

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