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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Steve S, Sep 26, 2019.
glad you posted this. See also https://www.electricshockdrowning.org/
Never swim in a marina or a dock that has power to it. Do not swim off a boat that is running a generator or hooked up to shore power.
Yep. And don’t dock an IO outdrive next to a boat leaking electrical current into the water at his slip, you’ll lose your drives.
I must confess my family and I swim in our marina all the time. We have RCD switches on the dock pedestals in Australia.
I also had to have RCD switches installed on my boat to meet our regulations. One was installed where the shore power comes into the boat and the other on the generator power feed to the rest of the boat.
The previous owner had a 240 volt outlet installed in the transom locker for the electric BBQ and that also has an RCD switch.
I've not heard of any know electricutions in Australian marinas. Am I safe from electricution?
Running generator??? Hmmm...I feel like 98.3% of the folks I know do this all the time, myself included. If we're swimming in the cove the generator is likely running.
Yah, the no generator thing is a no-go. We've been swimming around boats running generators for the last 30+ years and I've never heard a hint of an issue. However the dock swimming warning is well justified.
Keep in mind that Electric Shock Drownings are most prevalent in fresh water. Our Marina, here on Lake Erie, has signs posted everywhere - no swimming, no other water activities, i.e. paddleboarding. 2 years ago there was a drowning at an Island close to us as a result of ESD.
Is that last flowchart image blurry in the article?
Yes... it is not your eyes... LOL
Fresh water conducts electricity more than salt. For what it's worth.
in theory yes, if the RCDs are wired correctly, and working properly. But why trust your life to a device? Your dock or boat may be fine, but the one next door may not be.
As for my comment about not swimming off a boat with generators running, That has more to do with carbon monoxide poisoning than ESD. There have been numerous instances of people being poisoned by generator exhaust while swimming near a boat with a generator running. And I know of one case in which a person was killed while swimming near a boat with the generator running due to faulty wiring on the boat.
And the comments about having done it for years with no problem are also the same kind of comments I used to see in fatal boating accident reports.
I contacted them and they made it a "linkable" PDF
Actually, it does not and that is why freshwater is the problem. In salt water, the water is a better conductor than a human body so it goes around. In freshwater, the body is a better conductor so it goes through and electrocutes.
In saltwater, stray current tends to go to earth through the water, in fresh water, your outdrive is the better path to ground.
All of this discussion is why it is essential to check your electrical system at least annually especially if you have made any changes, upgrades, added equipment. etc. Keeping the integrity of the grounding wire (the green wire), and not accidentally reversing polarity, is essential. We all like to add new and improved equipment, especially in Spring after a long winter, get the boat fitted out and in the water. Checking the electrical system should be on your Spring check list. Not only to prevent ESD, but also to prevent stray current corrosion (there goes your outdrive), and prevent electrical fires.
I was always trained to not swim in marinas for the obvious reasons. When I went to visit Belmont Harbor in Chicago everyone was swimming off the docks. When I said something to the dockers there they acted as if I was ignorant. Scared me but haven’t heard of anyone dying there either.
Nope you aren't ignorant - they're just lucky. Here's an article on the Put-In-Bay drowning. https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2017/06/teens_electric_shock_drowning.html
So how do hull cleaning divers survive?
They're in salt water. Don't think I ever heard of divers in the the Great Lakes cleaning bottoms. - no need.
Thanks for setting me straight.
There's very much a need to have hull cleanings in the Great Lakes; we have several divers in Chicago.
I'm not quite sure what precautions they take to avoid electrocution, if any at all.
I believe it's more the exception than the rule that people in the water get electrocuted. I liken it to swimming in the ocean and being attacked by a shark. The chances are excellent that nothing is going to chomp onto your leg, but...there is a chance.