ESD: The Fresh Water Killer
Summer has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest! The sun is warming the rain soaked roads, the children have been freed from the classroom, and people are preparing their boats for lazy days on the lake. Most are buying safety items like band aids, sunscreen, and life jackets, but many are unaware of the silent killer that can lurk at local marinas and lakes.
We aren’t talking about biting fish or undertow, but about Electric Shock Drowning, also known as ESD. ESD is usually caused by faulty boat wiring that energizes underwater metals or boat parts and results in life threatening injuries and death for anyone who comes in to contact with the energized part. This threat is not well known because many of these deaths have been attributed to drowning since the events occur in the water, presumably away from electricity.
There are many ways to prevent Electric Shock Drowning:
1. Do not swim in marinas. If you feel a tingling sensation, exit the water immediately and alert marina authorities.
2. Pay close attention to warning signs posted near marinas and lakes.
3. Electrical work on boats should meet American Boat and Yacht Council standards and should be performed by a certified electrician.
4. Boat and marina owners should make sure that routine electrical inspections are conducted.
5. Boat owners should make sure that their boat is equipped with an ELCI (Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter) and marinas have a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) installed.
The following article, written by Terry Gardner for The Huffington Post, details the very real dangers of ESD and tells the stories of a few of its victims. Please share this article with your family and friends and help spread awareness about the very real danger of Electric Shock Drowning.