Our Opinion: Tingling sensation indicates danger for swimmers

News Tribune editorial

Swim away.

Swimmers who experience tingling and numbness while in the water are advised by public safety officials to swim away from a dock suspected of carrying an electric charge.

The Missouri Highway Patrol last week issued an advisory in connection with recent incidents involving electrically charged docks at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Those incidents include the electrocutions of two children and a 26-year-old woman earlier this season.

More recently, two children and an adult were shocked while swimming near a private dock; power was shut off immediately and all three were able to leave the water safely.

The patrol urges dock owners to take necessary precautions to make certain the dock is safe from faulty electric current.

Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, which endangers swimmers near an electrically charged dock.

If swimmers experience tingling and numbness associated with a electric current, the patrol reports swimmers who survived all reported swimming away from the suspect dock and exiting the water at the shoreline or at another dock.

The patrol also warns against holding on to metal cables securing the suspect dock, because the cables also can be conducting electricity.

“Having electricity on a boat dock is a great convenience, but it’s also a great responsibility,” said Capt. Greg Kindle, commanding officer for the patrol’s Troop F. “Prevent tragedy from striking at your boat dock. Make sure it’s safe for friends and family to enjoy.”

Water and electric current are a lethal combination. Heed the patrol’s advice and secure docks for safe recreation.

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