7 Tips to Prevent Electrical Shock Drowning at Marinas

No Swimming Sign at Marina Danger Electric Shock

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7 Tips to Prevent Electrical Shock Drowning at Marinas 

Did you know that swimming in or near a marina can be fatal?  It’s the No. 1 cause of electric shock drowning.  This happens when swimmers are exposed to electric currents from electric-powered boats and docks.  Sometimes the shock itself is fatal.  Other times, it incapacitates swimmers and causes them to drown.  Most cases of electric shock drowning happens at freshwater marinas.  (Salt water tends to divert most of the electrical current.)  Even so, no marina is safe from the dangers of electrical shock drowning.  The best way to avoid this tragedy is to raise awareness at your marina.

Here are seven marina safety precautions to help minimize the risk of electrical shock drowning:

  1. Discourage swimming in or around your marina. Post signs that prohibit swimming as well as warnings about the danger of electric shock drowning. Signs that read “Electric Shock Hazard: No Swimming Allowed” might be enough to get the message across.  Place these warning signs in plain view all around your marina.  While you cannot stop someone from simply jumping into the water, they won’t be able to say they weren’t warned.
  1. Have your electrical system inspected by a qualified electrician annually. A qualified electrician will make sure that your installation meets or exceeds NEC and NFPA safety codes and standards. Update your system if the electrician recommends it.
  1. If you’re having an electrician come out, have him/her install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) on your dock. A qualified marine electrician will know to use portable UL-marine listed GFCIs to reduce the chances of electrically-related injuries and deaths. It’s recommend to have these devices tested once a month.
  1. As a marina owner, you can get boat owners to reduce the risk of electric shock drowning. Require them to use UL-marine listed shore or marine power cords, plugs, receptacles, and extension cords. (If you’re marina is in Canada or another country, be sure to use products rated by your country’s organization.)  Note: Never let your clients use frayed or damaged cords!
  1. Do you have concerns about the safety of your dock’s electrical system? If so, then you need to turn off the power supply at the electrical panel and have it checked by a certified marine electrician. Have the professional fix all electrical safety hazards and maintain routine inspections to prevent problems before they occur.
  1. Remind all of your guests that they should never stand or swim in water, especially when turning off electrical devices or switches. Signage like the ones you used in point No. 1 would be a huge help with this task. Remember, people won’t know they shouldn’t do these things until you tell them.  Using the right signage and warning language helps educate your guests about their safety.
  1. Host regular safety events at your marina. This gives your guests the opportunity to learn about electrical safety on their boat and the dock. Safety meetings are also a great opportunity for boat owners to have their vessels inspected by licensed electricians.

DIRECTV for Marinas with Signal Connect

The average day at a marina should be both fun and relaxing.  As the marina owner, it’s up to you to create this atmosphere.  Offering DIRECTV programming at your business is one way you can improve your guests’ experience.  It is the best way for you and your customers to enjoy your favorite news, sports, and entertainment.  As an AT&T Preferred Dealer, we can match you with the right DIRECTV programming package, satellite equipment and more.  If you have any questions about DIRECTV for marinas, give us a call at 866-726-4182.