San Diego, California (NAPSI) - Fun in the sun is a lot less likely to give way to an emergency at sea if you follow a few tips on how to reduce your risk of electric shock drowning and common boating and marina electrical hazards.
Boating and Marina Safety
• Be sure you’re familiar with your craft’s electrical system so you can identify and correct any potential hazards.
• Don’t allow yourself or anyone else to swim near docks. Avoid entering the water when launching or loading your boat.
• Always maintain a distance of at least 10 feet between your boat and nearby power lines.
• If you feel a tingle while swimming, the water may be electrified. Get out as soon as possible, avoiding the use of metal objects such as ladders.
• Have your boat’s electrical system inspected and upgraded regularly by a certified marine electrician.
• Have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) installed on your boat and test them monthly.
• Consider having Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupters (ELCI) installed to protect nearby swimmers from potential electricity leakage from your boat into surrounding water.
• Use only shore or marine-rated power cords, plugs, receptacles and extension cords that have been tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or ETL SEMKO (ETL).
• Never use cords that are frayed or damaged or that have had the prongs removed or altered.
• Never stand or swim in water when turning off electrical devices or switches.
The experts on safety at the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) have new Boating and Marina Safety resources that include separate illustrated tip sheets of electrical safety tips for boat operators and marina owners, a reference guide that explains boat and marina electrical safety devices, and a comprehensive toolkit with safety tips and additional information on electric shock drowning. All resources are free for download at www.esfi.org.