Kentucky Officials Warn of Electric Shock Drowning Danger

Originally published on May 17, 2017 8:58 am

Kentucky officials are warning boaters about a danger known as electric shock drowning.

Kentucky State Parks and the state Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction say electric shock drowning happens when faulty wiring, equipment or damaged cords on a boat or dock energize surrounding water. The current is enough to paralyze the muscles of a nearby swimmer, causing them to drown, or in some cases electrocuting the swimmer.

The agencies say people should avoid swimming in the water at marinas, where boats often plug into electric pedestals for power. Also, make sure all electrical devices on your boat are working properly. If a problem is suspected, contact a certified electrical inspector immediately.

If you believe an electric shock drowning is taking place, turn off the power, throw a life ring into the water and call 911. Do not jump in the water.

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