Electric Shock Drowning

06Rinker27006Rinker270 Member Posts: 1,277 ✭✭✭
Thought I would share this article by Boat US on ESD.  I know this has been discussed a few times.  I grew up swimming off privately owned docks and never had a clue.  

06 Rinker 270


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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,625 mod
    A timely reminder. That's one of the better summaries I've seen.
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    TonyWalkerTonyWalker Member Posts: 744 ✭✭✭
    It is ironic but back in the 50's this would not have been possible.  The electric cord that supplied the boat with 120 volts had no ground wire.  There was no organized 120 volt AC grounding system on the boat so failures and faulty wiring either on the boat or on the shore supply were not part of any failure scenario that went to the water.  And during that era, I never heard of an electric shock drowning.  Am I wrong?  One of our other old timer boaters might know the answer tp this. 
    Salt Shaker 342 
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    Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Member Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ESD is suspected of being highly under reported. People assume they got tired, caught in seaweed, or just poor swimmers. Unless someone jumps in where it happened, you won't easily find it. The effective radius is not all that big. Water is not a great conductor really. 

    Past owner of a 2003 342FV
    PC BYC, Holland, MI
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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭

    .....and remember in salt water the conductivity can be 1000 times greater. This means the electricity can travel farther but usually with less intensity and tends to go around the human body a bit. That said it can be lethal if that body is grounded.

    In fresh water the current travels less distance but is more concentrated and tends to see the human body as an obstacle that it tries to go through so it can be more lethal than salt water.

    Bottom line no one except experienced (and grounded) scuba divers should be in the water in marinas and crowded anchorages with generators running - particularly children who are killed at much lower doses than adults.

    The situation is particularly dangerous in older marinas and around older boats that may not have galvanic isolators.

    Googling the subject is edifying.

    For those of us with children and grand children a must read!

    @06Rinker270..... GOOD CALL!

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