Electric Shock Drowning Basics

A 34 year-old man is in critical condition after receiving an electric shock in an Aztec Motel pool in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. The man was discovered floating in the pool around 8:30 P.M. and was eventually revived after a maintenance worker shut off the power source that had been conducted through water to the man, who was immediately transported to a local hospital. The motel’s manager was deeply affected by the accident and claimed that a licensed electrician had inspected and bonded the pool just three weeks before.

Electric shock drowning (ESD) also caused the death of a 15 year-old girl in Alabama one month ago, who dove into the water as the dock’s ladder, lowered into the lake, contained a faulty light switch that carried an electric charge. Her parents have since established an ESD public awareness campaign and even brought their story to Good Morning America.

Awareness of electric shock drowning isn’t nearly as high as that of most accidents and injuries, but ESD may be responsible, in part or in full, for more drowning cases than we currently determine. Electric currents may enter water from faulty electrical equipment or wiring in a boat, dock, or bulkhead lighting, and electric shock drowning almost always occurs due to

AC current in fresh water. Salt water can be 50 – 1000% more conductive than fresh water, which is why an electric current in the water can travel through the ground and then to a person’s body, as the human body’s conductivity is rather close to that of salt water. AC current is especially dangerous due to its pulsating and high voltage, while DC current has not been connected to any cases of ESD.

Here are some tips to reduce the risk of electric shock drowning:

  • Each year, seek a licensed electrician to inspect your pool’s filtering and lighting equipment.
  • Always turn off a dock’s power before anyone enters the water.
  • Make sure all swimmers are aware of the dangers of swimming around boats and docks.
  • Have your boat/s tested for stray electric power.
  • Equip both your dock and boat with a GFCI-ELCI and have them tested each year.
  • Avoid swimming within one-hundred yards of a dock or marina, especially in fresh water.

If you or a loved one has suffered electric shock drowning (ESD) due to the negligence of a person, business, or property owner, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.

Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.

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