Marina and Boatyard Safety

Electric Shock Drowning (ESD)

A Silent Killer.

If I would have known tihs could happen, or heard about it before - I am not sure if this would have happened to my daughter.

Jimmy Johnson, father of 15-year old Carmen Johnson, who tragically died in April 2016 from electric shock drowning.

Every day, about 10 people in the U.S. die from accidental drowning, according to the CDC. But Electric Shock Drowning incidents are difficult to track. It's known as a "silent killer".

The dangers of electricity around marinas and boatyards

According to the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Organization, Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) is the result of the passage of a typically low-level AC current through the body with sufficient force to cause skeletal muscular paralysis. The victim is unable to help himself/herself, while immersed in fresh water, eventually resulting in the drowning of the victim. Higher levels of AC current in the water will also result in electrocution. Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) has become the catch-all phrase that encompasses all in-water shock casualties and fatalities. The majority of Electric Shock Drowning deaths occur in public and private marinas and docks, and typically the victims are children swimming in or around a marina or dock where electricity is present.

To understand the hazards of electricity and water and electrical safety, please watch these videos in the following order.

No. 1 Electrical Safety Fundamentals, (1hour:13min:18sec)
No. 2 Equipment Bonding 250.4(A)(2) (10min:36sec)
No. 3 Neutral-to-Earth Voltage (NEV), (1hour:34min:20sec)

Watch the following video to understand the hazards of being near water around a boat dock.

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