Colonel Sandra Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, encourages boat dock owners to take the necessary precautions to make their dock safe from stray electrical current.

Tingling and numbness in the extremities while swimming in the water has been a common statement made by individuals who survived incidents involving electrical current near docks. Swimming away from any dock suspected to be charged with electricity is the safest course of action. Exiting the water at the shoreline, a safe distance from the electrically charged dock, or swimming to a nearby dock, would be the alternative. It should be noted, if there are metal dock cables securing the electrically charged dock to the shoreline, the metal cables may be charged with electricity and should be avoided also.

There are specific regulations on many of Missouri’s lakes. Dock owners should adhere to the regulations set forth by the dock permitting authority.

“Warm weather has arrived in Missouri and many people will begin enjoying time on our state’s lakes and rivers,” said Colonel Karsten. “While it is convenient to have electricity available on a boat dock, it is important to be responsible. Make sure you have taken the necessary precautions for your dock, so the area is safe for your family and friends to enjoy.”

Life jackets are always a good choice when on or near a dock. All swimmers are encouraged to use a life jacket, especially young children and inexperienced swimmers. Whether you’re swimming near a dock or fishing from one, chose to Wear It!

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