Most people know about the dangers of rip tides, swimming without a life jacket or venturing out too far. Yet there’s another danger that many aren’t aware of.
Electric shock drowning occurs when an alternating current (AC) from a boat or dock passes through the water and paralyzes a swimmer. Victims are unable to swim to safety, which can lead to a fatal drowning accident. If the current is strong enough, a swimmer can even be electrocuted. Sadly, the electrified water can make it impossible for someone to jump in and rescue the victim.
Electric shock drowning is especially common by docks, marinas and boatyards. That’s because electricity flows through the marina’s or dock’s wiring or boats connected to the marina’s or dock’s power supply. If there is a faulty wire, it can energize the surrounding water. There is no way to tell whether the water in a dock is energized—and water that was once safe can become energized in a matter of seconds.
While the electric shock drowning is a real danger, many people have never heard of it.
Today, more awareness has been brought to the topic, thanks to the efforts of people who’ve lost loved ones to electric shock drowning and the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association. Still, many people have no idea it can happen.
How to prevent electric shock drowning