Electrocution%20-%20Marina%20Death%20(7-1-2K)
 

Question:

Mike, I was hoping you might assist me in a situation. We had a young girl 10 years old electrocuted at a Marina here in Sonoma County last year. Can you or your members offer me advice as to reference materials regarding rules and regulations (other than Article 555 of the NEC and the Electrical Safety Orders) that may apply to the maintenance and qualified personnel working on electrical systems?

Mike you would not believe the code violations and lack of maintenance at the Marina where the young girl was killed. I am appalled and want to make sure this never happens again. As you may know I am one of the principal members on Panel 19, and the whole system of inspection, maintenance, etc, needs to clarified, added, and put in clear concise language. It should be mandatory for every marina, boatyard, etc, to have annual inspection, and maintenance. I will be glad to share the many photos and reports of the incident, including criminal manslaughter investigations of the operators and maintenance personnel of the marina. Any assistance you might offer would be appreciated.

Steven Johnson, IBEW Local 551, ibew551@sonic.net

From: Keller, Paul E. - Tilden Lobnitz Cooper

Until we require mandatory licensing of electricians, we continue to have these tragedies. The education required for licensing should eliminate a lot of substandard work. We will always have someone trying to save money at the sacrifice of safety. Vandalism and “we’ll fixed later” are also contributory to the problems. How about adopting local maintenance codes? The firm I work for requires a State licensed Electrician to be on site whenever electrical work is being performed. Just because it works does not make it right. You do not know you screwing things up, if you do not know what you are doing!

From: JessKray@aol.com

We do a lot of work in hotels, including all the big names, such as Hilton. If you saw what we see, you would never sleep in another hotel. They all look nice on the outside, but the basements and service areas have code violations everywhere. Worst I saw was in a Hilton in Fremont, CA, gas cans stored in the electrical equipment room, against the base of distribution panel. Scary stuff!

From: Haskin, Donald M (DynCorp)

I do not know what can be done but electrical power in marinas seems to be a constant problem. Living in a "boating area”, I have seen many, many examples of poor and dangerous wiring. It seems that people have unlimited money to spend on their boats but feel that a nickel spent on electrical safety is wasted. Campgrounds are almost as bad. I stayed at a very highly rated, and fairly expensive ($40 per night per site) campground this summer. The electrical power to each site was run in type NM (Not UF) cable laid on top of the ground! The power to my site had been cut and 2 different types of cable were taped together. I hate to think that some sort of yearly inspection would be needed and I hate to think of the opportunity for fraud and corruption that would open, but I agree something may have to be done.

From: Dave Weinberg

Mike, the problem is the lack of training and enforcement. To make matters worse “in my opinion” many combo inspectors are not qualified. Few of these combo inspectors actually have any time in the trade, but they inspect all the crafts! I can not see how this is possible. Who would allow EMT to be installed where it can be reached by someone swimming, and no GFCI protection? Who would install EMT in that environment? Thanks; I just wanted to put in my 2 cents on the way things are in Sonoma County.

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