CHICAGO (Salvi Law) – Many families take to the water during the summer months to catch some rays, work on their water skiing skills, or just relax. Countless boaters and swimmers take advantage of our close proximity to Lake Michigan, Des Plaines River, Chicago River, Fox River, Illinois River, Chain O’Lakes and the many small streams throughout the Chicago area. But unfortunately, boating accidents occur too often on these waterways and a fun-filled weekend can take a deadly turn if you do not recognize that lakes can be very dangerous places.
Sometimes, these accidents can’t be helped. Some occur because of adverse weather conditions; other times, however, a boating accident may be caused by the driver’s negligence or some defect in the boat or its equipment.
But sometimes other boaters are not the only dangers lurking near a lake.
Earlier this year, 15-year-old Carmen Johnson lost her life when she was electrocuted while swimming in the lake behind her family’s home. Initially, Carmen’s father thought she was being pulled underwater by something. But it was later determined she died as a result of electric shock drowning. Carmen’s parents told ABC News that the electrical currents came from rusty electrical work at the dock in their backyard.
Electric shock drowning occurs when a current, usually from a short circuit in the wiring of a dock, marina or boat, spreads through the water, and someone in the water is shocked and drowns.
Experts say you should inspect the electrical equipment at pools, docks, boats and marinas at least once a year. They also advise on getting a shock alarm or other similar product to warn people when there’s electricity in the water.
The Chicago boating accident lawyers at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. reminds lake-goers to always be vigilant of surroundings and to exercise caution when near a boat or body of water.