Officials Warn Swimmers Of Electric Shock Drowning


obama-swimmingAuthorities told Kevin Ritz that his 8-year-old son had died from drowning, but that didn’t make sense. Lucas wore a life jacket with a special flap to keep his head above water, Ritz said, and had no water in his lungs.

Ritz soon discovered that a boat docked in the Portland, Ore., marina where Lucas swam was leaking 120 volts of electricity. The energized water shocked Lucas’ heart that day in August 1999, causing it to stop instantly, Ritz said.

When the Ritz family learned other people were dying in the same manner, they created an organization to inform others about electric shock drowning. With summer approaching, they and national agencies are urging people to stay out of water where a boat is plugged into the dock’s electrical outlet.

“Every year that goes by … it just continues to go on,” said Ritz, 51, who recently visited Chicago to share his story. “Had we been aware of this, our kids would not have been in the water.”

Electric shock drowning has caused more than 100 deaths across the country in recent years, said Ritz, who is a certification instructor for the American Boat and Yacht Council, which develops safety standards for boats. No federal agency tracks the deaths, he said.

In many cases, a victim’s autopsy shows no signs of electrical injury, so it’s likely that more electric shock drowning deaths go unreported, said Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council, a national nonprofit based in Springfield. And if witnesses aren’t present, officials often stop their investigation and point to drowning, Hall said.

The organization is trying to raise awareness by airing radio and TV public service announcements throughout Illinois and providing videos on its website. The threat is greatest in freshwater rivers, lakes and pools, Hall said.

Read more at the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

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  1. What is that photo llustrating, relating to the tragic death of a Jewish child? It seems to be BHO; If it is BHO, it is insensitive and grossly inappropriate.

  2. I’m not so sure the picture posted is appropriate. It’s almost as though you are wishing the same fate on the president.

  3. anybody think that the guy swimming in the cover picture would want to get hooked up with some of that current?

  4. Maskim by choose to put Obama in picture. Thats how we think of him in a bathing suit not a dress suite. Shame on him

  5. At least the Torah orientated site Matzav can put a picture to this article to make swimming really look irresponsible. I can hardly wait until Hillary is elected. What will the staunchly “conservative” matzav editors do to reason with us that she too is here only to drum up the abyss for free speech.