BRANSON, Mo. — As temperatures continue to warm up, more people will be out boating, swimming and enjoying other water activities.
City workers in Branson are getting credit for their quick response after someone on Lake Taney Como received an electrical shock on the water.
A man who owns property on the lake told the city that his grandson experienced a minor shock while on Lake Taney Como a few weeks ago.
This was a potentially deadly situation, but thankfully no one was seriously hurt.
Most people know that electricity and water can be a deadly combination.
Back in 2012, Missouri Highway Patrol said that two children and a 26-year-old woman were killed on Lake of the Ozarks after getting “dock shock.” It usually happens at metal docks, when stray electrical currents get into the water.
Joel Hornickle, Director of Planning and Development for Branson says after they received word from the concerned grandfather, they contacted the Missouri Highway Patrol Troop D, who got involved very quickly — along with Empire Electric.
“We contacted Springfield Troop D office of the highway patrol and they were just fabulous,” said Hornickle, “It ended up being about two or three docks down. Just a bad electrical system that overtime had failed. Just hadn’t been looked at for a couple of years and just got worse and worse…deteriorated.”
So what are dock owners doing to help prevent this potentially deadly situation?
Ryan Titus, handles maintenance at Lilley’s Landing Resort and Marina. He says, “So every stall that we have has a GFI on the plug in, so all the boats that we rent have chargers for the trolling motors. So what happens if that was to fall in the water, said Titus, “The cord or anything like that electric wise, hits the water..it’s faster than what a breaker in a breaker box would be.”
According to Titus, this would circumvent, so to speak, getting shocked.
“They say you shouldn’t feel much of any shock, with those at all,” Titus said.
The Missouri Highway Patrol says if you feel tingling or numbing in your extremities while in the water, it may be electrical shock — and you should first:
1. Swim away from any suspected dock.
2. Exit the water at the shoreline, a safe distance from the electrically charged dock, or a nearby dock.
3. Don’t hold onto any metal cables, because they might be charged with electricity as well.
The concerned grandfather eventually wrote a letter to the city of Branson, praising city workers for their help.