SouthCoast families should be told about electric shock drowning

Electrocution is a very real danger that people don’t take seriously enough. Earlier this month a North Easton man was killed when he was electrocuted while trying to remove an aerial from a house in Taunton.

But it’s not just on land that you have to worry.

Would you consider stepping into a bathtub with a living hair dryer? Think of a boat, moored at the marina, like this hair dryer. People I spoke to on the south coast knew little about the silent killer, but the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association was formed to save lives from electrocution.

Electric shock drowning occurs in freshwater ponds and lakes, when the low level alternating current paralyzes the body, rendering the victim unable to swim, ultimately leading to drowning.

People have been swimming around marinas for decades, but what has changed is the addition of electricity from boat lifts and dockside accessories that allow boats to be plugged into shore power when they are moored. Often the source of electrocution is frayed, faulty wires that are rubbing together, letting electricity leak into the water.

On the Association for the Prevention of Electrocution Drowning websitefounder Kevin Ritz shared the tragic day 14 years ago when the family lost their son Lucas.

“We knew something was wrong when everyone started running down the dock. Lucas was motionless in the water,” he wrote. “My wife jumped in the water, close to him so she could grab his life jacket, and thank goodness she did, otherwise we would have lost her too, because when she hit the water, she was paralyzed by electricity. She couldn’t let go of the life jacket.”

Thanks to their loss, the family did some research and discovered that many “drowning victims” had in fact been electrocuted instead, as there was no water in their lungs.

Since then, the Ritz family, along with others, has formed a nonprofit to raise awareness about this silent killer. The first step is to be educated; know what are the right measures that can keep your family safe around the water this summer.

Consult the list of the association ways to prevent drowning from electric shock and be safe there.

LOOK: Here are the best lakeside towns to live in

Many of the towns included jump out at the casual observer as popular summer rental spots – Branson of the Ozarks, Missouri or Lake Havasu in Arizona – it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality of life offerings at beyond the beach and vacation homes. You’ll likely learn from a wide range of Americana: one of the last 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that began as a retirement area for Civil War veterans; an island teeming with some of the nation’s best public schools and revenue streams smack dab in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing more than the prison blues of Johnny Cash.

WATCH: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pros and cons, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best in which to live. For the knowledge, Stacker consulted WalletHub data, published on June 17, 2020, which compares American beach towns. The ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. Cities ranged from 10,000 to 150,000 people, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read it complete methodology here. From these rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida won’t be surprised to learn that many of the cities featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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