|National Safe Boating Week|
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kyla Kruse, 217-546-6815
Prepare for a Season of Safe Boating
National Safe Boating Week
(SPRINGFIELD, IL)— National Safe Boating Week kicks off on Saturday, May 19. The week before Memorial Day weekend is a great opportunity to get your boat in order and prepare for a season of safe boating. There are a variety of safety items that you must legally have on board your watercraft-including life vests, fire extinguishers, a throwable floatation device, and properly working lights. However, the safety list should not end there.
For instance, there is the story of a 13-year-old Oklahoma boy who died after he jumped from a boat dock into a lake to swim. The dock lights were on at the time. He immediately surfaced and was screaming, then submerged and did not resurface. An adult who entered the water to assist the boy felt an electrical current and called to others to turn off the dock lights. Power company employees inspected the electrical system for the dock lights, and they identified a short in the wiring. The wiring was in contact with the dock's metal frame and transmitted sufficient electrical current into the water to cause a shock. The medical examiner listed the boy's cause of death as drowning, possibly secondary to electrical shock.
"Take the time to make sure that the dock area is safe. This means making sure electrical connections are properly installed and safely maintained," adds Molly Hall, executive director of the Safe Electricity program. "Your loved ones' lives just might depend on it."
Even if you are just renting the dock, it is important that you notify the dock owner of any safety violations so that they can be fixed immediately. If the owner will not make the corrections or properly maintain the dock, you should strongly consider moving your boat to a dock that will.
Assessing electrical hazards near areas of water is a wise investment of time and personal effort. While regulations might vary by location the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that electricity-related drowning can be prevented by regular inspections for ground-fault failure and by strict enforcement of the National Electric Code through frequent inspections of pools and docks.
Safe Electricity offers the following additional tips to stay safe while boating:
Find more electrical safety information at SafeElectricity.org.
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The Energy Education Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency. Established in 1952, the Council is headquartered within the University of Illinois Extension, and serves as a forum for diverse utility and energy organizations to collaborate on the mutually vital issues of efficiency and safety. Learn more at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.