LAKE LOTAWANA, Missouri - Following three electrocution deaths at the Lake of the Ozarks in just the last week, a local electrician who frequently repairs private docks shows us what to watch for to keep your family safe.
“The correct outlet can make all the difference,” Lyman Dayton said. “This is not a DIY project … water and electricity do not mix.”
The combination proved deadly on Lake Lotawana in 1995, when a man jumped in the water to save his dog being electrocuted near a dock. Both died.
Three people died in two separate incidents at the Lake of the Ozarks, including Alexandra and Brayden Anderson. The Missouri Highway Patrol says a circuit that wasn’t grounded led to the brother and sister’s electrocution.
“A lot of times, older docks have outlets like these,” Dayton said, holding an outlet that isn’t grounded. “Fixing it could be as simple as this … it is just like the one that is in your bathroom. This is a ground fault interrupt circuit.”
A professional inspection costing around $60, according to Dayton, could prevent tragedy.
“It takes ten to fifteen minutes and it could save a life,” he said.
But even visitors can spot problems on docks. Check for loose wires and always check to make sure lights and outlets are operational.
“If there isn’t any power going to the dock, that could tell you a lot right there,” Dayton said.
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