How to Prevent Electric Shock Drowning: Tools & Tips

Electric shock drowning is MOST dangerous when you don’t know what it is or how to prevent it. We’re here to change that. 

Electric shock drowning (ESD) occurs when electricity from docks and boats leaks into lake water, causing muscle paralysis. Even the strongest swimmers can be affected.

Just like wearing a life jacket and using the buddy system protects against regular drownings, there are several tools and tips that can protect you and your family against ESD-related tragedy.  


Don’t Swim Near Marinas

Most marinas already have rules against swimming nearby. This is one of those rules that isn’t meant to be broken. The number of boats and equipment at a marina makes it a high-risk area for electrical currents in the water. 

See what causes these electrical currents.

Always, Always Wear Life Jackets

If electrical currents in the water paralyze your muscles, a life jacket can be the difference between a scare and a tragedy. The life jacket will keep the paralyzed swimmer afloat until they can be rescued. 

Don’t Jump In After Someone

It’s natural to spring into action when someone needs help. It is VERY important to notice the signs of electric shock because jumping in after someone will only put you at risk. Here are some clues to watch for:

  • Someone who is known to be a great swimmer unexpectedly unable to swim
  • A child or other person in a lifejacket panicking and unable to move
  • Someone commenting that their “body feels tingly” or “the water feels tingly”

Instead, make sure you have a life hook on your dock or boat to pull them in to safety. 

Swim Away from the Current

If you or someone you know starts to feel a tingling sensation in the water, you may have a chance to get out of the radius of the electricity. Start swimming away from the area where you felt the electrical current and exit the water as quickly as possible. Avoid touching metal ladders or rails. 

Regularly Inspect Your Boat’s Electrical System

Have your boat inspected by a professional electrician at least once a year and after significant storms. Bad weather can affect your boat’s electrical integrity.

Invest In a Device to Detect Dangerous Electricity

WaveLink acts as an electric shock drowning alarm to notify you when dangerous voltage is detected near your dock. WaveLink uses audible and visible cues so you can take action to keep your family safe. 

Our device can monitor the water up to 150 feet from your dock and uses a software-based approach to learn about your dock, surrounding water, metal structures, and the power supply to recognize dangerous electricity with unmatched accuracy.

WaveLink isn’t the only water shock detection device on the market. See how it compares.

We created WaveLink to help provide families like yours with peace of mind while enjoying life at the lake. We currently have a limited number of WaveLink Hubs available for presale! Reserve yours today.