Warnings against swimming in marinas


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – Every summer people who swim in marinas or near boat docks are killed by electric shock drowning.

Electric shock drowning, or ESD, is caused by faulty, frayed or incorrectly ground wiring which then sends an electrical current into the water.

“It can kill you.  It can kill a member of your family,” Krista Lisser of the Energy Education Council told WAND’s Doug Wolfe.  “Call a licensed electrician that’s the safest thing you can do especially if you have your own boat dock.  Make sure they have wired it.  They have inspected it.”

Kevin Ritz lost his son when he was killed in an electric shock drowning accident.

“Any drowning in a marina is suspicious from my stand point,” Ritz stated. “There are things that we can do to prevent this from happening in the hopes that some day we can stop counting every summer how many people have died.”

Inspections are recommended.  The Lake Springfield Marina does annual inspections.  This year the inspection was critical after the lake dropped dramatically.

“This year we had them really go through thoroughly with the water being down four-and-a-half feet this year,” said Scott Tucker of the Lake Springfield Marina.  “That’s a lot of movement in those wires for these floating docks.  So, we made sure that they went through and made sure there weren’t any cut wires or frayed wires.”

Electric shock drowning can also take place in swimming pools.  Two men in Decatur were killed in an accident at a public pool in 2001.

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