Electric Shock Drowning is Rare but Deadly
If you’ve never heard of electric shock drowning, that’s not unusual – many people never have. Electric shock drowning, also known as ESD, is a serious issue that occurs when a person is swimming in freshwater that has leaked electricity. In this instance, even the most minor of shocks can be deadly because the current can paralyze the muscles, which makes it impossible to swim to safety. Additionally, anyone who tries to save the victim is likely to get shocked themselves.
It just takes a little to do a lot of damage
Deadly amounts of electricity are measured in mA. According to the Coast Guard, anything higher than 3 mA is going to be very painful, at a minimum. 10 mA has the potential to cause paralysis, which can lead to drowning. 100 mA is going to be deadly in most cases. How much is this? It’s a less than 1/3 of the electricity in a 40 watt bulb. As you can see, it doesn’t take much to cause electrocution with this type of accident.
How to prevent ESD
The bad news is that there’s no way to look at water and tell if it’s been energized or if it’s safe. In most cases, you won’t feel the electricity as soon as you get into the water, which gives you the impression that it’s safe. Additionally, electrical faults can come and go. Safe water can turn to deadly water in a second. If you own a pool, make sure that anything with power in your pool – such as light bulbs, pumps, etc. are properly grounded and maintained.
Understanding the early signs of ESD
The good news is that death from ESD is almost 100% preventable. That said, since most people have never heard of this issue, they don’t know how to spot it or how to help someone who’s experiencing it. Some of the early symptoms are a tingling sensation, discoloring of the skin, cramping in the muscles, pain, feeling as though you can’t move, feeling numb.
If you’re swimming and you fee a tinging, get out of the water right away and try to keep upright. Back out the way you came in – don’t swim further in the direction you’re heading. Scream and shout – remember that you won’t look like you’re drowning. Let everyone know that you’re in danger and tell them what’s happening. When you get out, prevent other swimmers from getting in.
Have you been injured in an ESD accident?
While these are rare occurrences, the reality is that people die every year from ESD. If you have been injured in this type of accident, or you’ve lost a loved one, then there may be someone who should be held accountable. Reach out to Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 to find out if you have a case. We’ll start with a free consultation and if we take your case it won’t cost you a cent until we recover damages for you.