Recent Deaths Due to Electric Shock Accidents in Fresh Water


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Electric accidents are common at work. They are less common at home, and especially rare in the water. However, last month several children in two states were killed by electric shock accidents in the water.

Fresh water like lakes, rivers or ponds can be dangerous for drowning accidents because lifeguards don’t generally patrol these kinds of places.  In addition, such bodies of water, especially where marinas or boats are docked, are dangerous due to the risk of electric shock. Electricity from a marina or boat can leak into the water and shock nearby swimmers. This is what is believed to have occurred in two separate cases in Tennessee and Missouri last month.

Even experienced boaters may not realize the risk of electric shock in fresh water. Such accidents do not occur in salt water because salt water is a better electricity conductor than humans. However in fresh water, humans conduct electricity better than the water. Hence the risk.

To avoid the risk of these kinds of electric shock accidents, people should not swim near any boats or marinas.  In addition, boats and marinas in fresh water should have circuit interrupters which stop electricity from going into the water. Depending on the situation, under Pennsylvania and New Jersey law, a marina operator or boat owner may be liable for causing an electric shock accident.

For more information, contact our electric accident lawyers located in Philadelphia.  Our electric accident lawyers also serve the New Jersey area and can be admitted in other states like New York on a special basis.

Published: August 3, 2012

*Source:, “Tragic July 4th deaths: 5 kids die, 1 hurt in Missouri, Tennessee, Iowa”, July 5, 2012