Today we’re going to take you on a bit of a detour from our regular insurance topics. Not because we don’t think these tips can make your life easier (and they really can), but because there’s an important public safety notice we want to share.
As you may be aware, record-high water levels in the Great Lakes are damaging property and prompting warnings about heightened safety risks.
The rising waters – expected to persist into summer – have meant vanishing beaches, submerged docks and inundated cottages. Other dangers include floating debris, damage to shorelines and seawalls as well as flooding. There are additional risks on piers, where even the smallest of waves can now wash over the top, creating the potential for being swept off.
But there’s another danger that has prompted some officials to issue warnings about electric shock drowning (ESD) which occurs when a person comes into contact with an electrical current in the water. Stray voltage can come from boats or docks with faulty wiring, frayed cords and devices not approved as shore- or marine-rated. Known as the silent killer, it can cause complete loss of muscle control, the inability to move and lead to drowning.
How to avoid ESD
Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources recently offered these safety tips:
Boaters also share in the responsibility to help prevent electrical currents from entering the water. They should:
Check beach warnings
Swimmers at designated beach areas must be more vigilant too.
Rip currents, high waves and other dangerous currents and wave conditions can occur in the Great Lakes. Be aware of the coloured flag system used to communicate swim risk. Check the flag upon arrival and continue to monitor as conditions can change quickly.
Follow these safety tips:
It’s hard to resist the pull of water on a hot day. But staying safe – and alive – is the most important ingredient for an enjoyable summer.
Related reading: How to escape a rip current