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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, rendering the victim unable to help himself or herself, while swimming in fresh water, eventually resulting in drowning of the victim.
Higher levels of AC current in the water will also result in electrocution. Electric Shock Drowning or ESD has become the catch all phrase that encompasses all in-water shock casualties and fatalities.
Although Electric Shock Drowning can occur virtually in any location where electricity is provided near water, the majority of Electric Shock Drowning deaths have occurred in public and private marinas and docks. The typical victim of Electric Shock Drowning is a child swimming in or around a marina or dock where electricity is present. The electricity that enters the water and causes Electric Shock Drowning originates from the wiring of the dock or marina, or from boats that are connected to the marina’s or dock’s power supply.
You wouldn't consider stepping into a bathtub or swimming pool with a hair dryer! Think of the boat as the hairdryer. If an electric fault occurs on a boat while it is connected to a marina’s or dock’s shore power and the boat or marina is not properly wired to meet current American Boat and Yachting Council (ABYC) and National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) standards, the water surrounding the boat will become electrified.
These deaths can be prevented. Never swim in a boat club or marina or near a docked boat that is plugged in to shore power. Boat owners, make sure your boat and marina is properly wired.
For more information go to the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association web site at www.electricshockdrowning.org/
ELECTRIC SHOCK DROWNING