Skip to main navigation.

Just keep swimming… away from the dock

Whether at home or on vacation, boating, fishing and swimming can be fun ways to enjoy the great outdoors. And safety precautions like life jackets are a given for millions of families who take to the water. But there is an unseen danger that lake-goers everywhere should be aware of. It’s called electric shock drowning, or ESD.

Outdated wiring and a lack of proper safety equipment on boats and docks can cause situations where electricity “leaks” into the water. It’s a particularly dangerous hazard because it’s impossible to tell by sight if the water is energized.

If you are in the water and feel electric current, shout to let others know, try to stay upright, tuck your legs up to make yourself smaller and swim away from anything that could be energized. Do not head to boat or dock ladders to get out.

If you see someone who you suspect is getting shocked, do not immediately jump in to save them.  Throw them a float, turn off the shore power connection at the meter base, and/or unplug shore power cords. Try to eliminate the source of electricity as quickly as possible; then call for help.

Learn more about electric shock drowning: 

Additional resources:

American Boat & Yacht Council 

Safe Electricity

Plus, learn more about how to keep yourself and those you love safe around electricity.


Powered by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Logo