Southeastern North Carolina is a water lover’s paradise between the ample lakes, rivers, and of course, the ocean; and May is the perfect month to get out and enjoy the water before the heat of summer kicks in. But before you dive in, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to brush up on electrical safety around the water, especially if your kids or grandkids will be joining you.
- Check the location of nearby power lines before boating, fishing or swimming. You should keep a distance of at least 10 feet between your boat and power lines at all times.
- Never swim close to a boat while it’s running, and never swim near a marina, dock or launch ramp since they have the potential to “leak” electricity into the water.
- Always obey all posted “No Swimming” signs, and if you are swimming and feel a slight tingle, immediately reverse your direction and get out of the water as quickly as possible, avoiding the use of metal ladders or rails.
- Have your boat inspected by a licensed professional to ensure it meets local, state, US Coast Guard and American Boat & Yacht Council standards.
- Know where the main breakers are for both the boat and the power source on shore in case of an emergency.
- Avoid standing in water when turning electrical switches on or off.
- Install ground fault circuit interrupters on your boat and test them regularly.
Staying safe in the water
These are just a few tips to help you navigate the water safely this summer but there are plenty more available, especially when teaching young children how to stay safe around the water. Visit the National Safety Council’s website, nsc.org, to learn more.