A year ago, 15-year-old Carmen Johnson lost her life due to electric shock drowning at her family's home on Smith Lake. Earlier this year, two others died of suspected electric shock drowning at Lake Tuscaloosa. I've got to be honest, before hearing about these most recent tragedies I had no idea what electric shock drowning was or how it happens. Believe you me, I do now. What I've learned is that docks that have power for things like boat lifts, lights, or general needs, if not installed or maintained correctly can inadvertently transfer electricity into the water. Electric shock drowning is called the "silent killer" because it doesn't leave a mark, and because of this, it's normally diagnosed as a drowning. So, I want to share some safety tips that everyone should be aware of as many of us head to the lake to have some fun. Use a plastic ladder, rather than a metal one, so it won't help transfer electricity into the water. If you start to feel a tingle in the water, swim away from the dock, which is where most electrical issues occur. Check all wiring around your dock, including your ground fault circuit breaker. Purchase a Dock Lifeguard, a device that detects electricity in the water around your dock. A few minutes checking and a few dollars fixing could save a life. I'm Dave Thomason, that's my take. What's yours?
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