A fun visit with a friend and a boat ride on the lagoon had a tragic ending recently, when an 11-year-old girl died after being electrocuted, according to USAToday. The girl was visiting a friend in Toms River, and they went out on an inflatable boat. They had taken precautions by wearing life jackets, and were being supervised by adults. At one point, the girls grabbed onto the metal handle of a boat lift, and received a shock. One escaped injury completely, while the parents worked hard to administer CPR to keep her alive until emergency services arrived. EMS transported her to Community Medical Center in Toms River, but she sadly passed away in the hospital.
It’s currently not known for sure what caused the boat lift to become energized. It somehow conducted an electrical current, which hit the girls when they touched the metal equipment. Authorities inspected the equipment fully and will hopefully be able to find an answer to prevent any further injuries or fatalities. According to police, the boat lift was installed in 2001, and was compliant with the building code at the time. After the property was sold to the current owner, it came into disrepair as the new homeowners didn’t use it much, nor did they inspect it. Under the dock, there is an electrical junction box, and the suspicion is that this box corroded, and electricity somehow made its way to the metal frame.
While many people in New Jersey are aware of the risks and safety precautions to take on the water, few consider electrocution as something to worry about. However, boats and docks and other nautical equipment do involve electricity, and therefore they come with certain risks. Electrical Safety Foundation International, a nonprofit organization, suggests that even a light current can pass through the body while swimming and incapacitate someone enough to cause drowning.
Swimming near marinas and running boats can be dangerous, and not just from getting caught in propellers. They say that even as little as .5 percent of the power needed for a 60-watt light bulb could paralyze someone. There are reported injuries and deaths near docks caused by electrocution every year. From 1986 to 2013, there were a reported 70 deaths attributed to electrocutions and water. Electrified boat lifts were the culprit in several of them. Having equipment inspected is vital to keep friends and family safe.
Electrocution can cause serious injuries all on its own. When water is thrown into the mix, it can be even deadlier. If you’ve been injured, or a loved one has died in an accident in New Jersey, make sure to contact an attorney to protect your interests. If someone is at fault, they can investigate your situation and make a good case to get you compensation. If an insurance company isn’t paying what you feel they should be, then an attorney can help fight for your rights. Call today to discuss your options.

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