Dock safety for lake season

Published: May. 13, 2018 at 10:54 PM CDT
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As Summer approaches more people are heading to the lake.

But with that, comes the risk of dock shock.

The risk of dock shock comes as the rubber exterior of the electric wires underneath the docks break, which leaks the electric current into the water.

"The conduit has broken, rubbed through a rock or anything debris under the water. Hit by a boat if it wasn't tied down well enough, hit by a prop." said James Gilliam, with the Mutton Creek Marina.

James Gilliam works for Stockton Lake's Mutton Creek Marina and says if the dock doesn't have enough extra wire, that could also cause a break.

"We add 30 to 50 feet of extra wire spooled up, so that it can move up and down with the dock to prevent breakage or stretching." said Gilliam.

He says it is also on the boaters who park at the dock to keep it safe.

"A lot of people just unplug the boat and throw the wire on the dock. It would be much safer if people would physically unplug it from the dock when they remove it. A lot of times people leave them on the dock and they get kicked in the water." said Gilliam.

Another challenge to preventing dock shock? Not having a way to tell if the dock is emitting electricity.

"There is not really anyway to tell unless you notice the wildlife is dead or floating. If it is excessive from more than just a couple of fish, you have got a major issue." said Gilliam.

But he says there is a bigger safety issue when swimming near a dock.

"It is usually pretty safe swimming around the dock. The problem we see more than the electricity is people not paying attention and about hitting them with the boats." said Gilliam.

Gilliam says if a wire from the Mutton Creek Marina was leaking electricity in the wire it should short a breaker and stop the electric current after just a few seconds.