Don’t Let Unsafe Actions Make Waves in Summer Fun
Cass County Electric shares tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe when enjoying water recreation activities this summer.
Be sure to check weather forecasts. Postpone your plans if a thunderstorm is expected, as the risks for lightning strikes are especially high in or near bodies of water. Remember the advice from the National Weather Service (NWS), “When thunder roars, go indoors.”
You are not safe from lightning strikes while outside, so once you hear thunder, get to a safe shelter such as an enclosed building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed metal-topped vehicle with its windows up. Wait until at least 30 minutes have passed without thunder to return outside.
Be aware of your surroundings. Always check the location of nearby power lines before boating or fishing. Make sure you are casting the line away from power lines to avoid potential contact.
Do not raise a mast or antenna when your boat is near a power line. Never attempt to move a power line out of the way so that a boat can pass underneath. Maintain a safe distance of at least 10 feet between your boat and nearby power lines. Keep in mind that water levels are constantly changing, altering the distance between the water and the line.
If your boat does come in contact with a power line, do not enter the water. The water could be energized. Instead, stay in the boat and avoid touching anything metal until help arrives or until your boat is no longer in contact with the line.
Do not swim around docks with electrical equipment or boats plugged into shore power. If you are in the water and feel a tingle of 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.
To help prevent the risk of electricity entering the water, have your boat and dock electrical systems regularly inspected and maintained by a professional familiar with marine electrical codes.
To learn more about electrical safety, please visit SafeElectricity.org.
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