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Electric shock drowning a hidden danger
By Janet Groene, Special to Tribune Newspapers | August 27, 2013
For fans of freshwater swimming, there’s nothing like a lake. Chlorinated pool water just doesn’t hit the mark. But a hidden danger that many boaters know about remains widely unknown to landlubbers: electric shock drowning. Awareness of ESD was heightened in 1999 when an 8-year-old Oregon boy, Lucas Ritz, died even though he was wearing a life jacket that kept his head above water. His parents felt shock when they jumped in to try to rescue him but attributed it to panic until the…
Officials warn swimmers of electric shock drowning
By Jennifer Delgado, Tribune reporter | May 26, 2014
Authorities told Kevin Ritz that his 8-year-old son had died from drowning, but that didn’t make sense. Lucas wore a life jacket with a special flap to keep his head above water, Ritz said, and had no water in his lungs. Ritz soon discovered that a boat docked in the Portland, Ore., marina where Lucas swam was leaking 120 volts of electricity. The energized water shocked Lucas’ heart that day in August 1999, causing it to stop instantly, Ritz said. When the Ritz family…
Gary Woman Drowns After Electric Shock
July 2, 1992
A 26-year-old woman drowned Wednesday afternoon in Monroe Harbor after she apparently received an electric shock while swimming. The woman, identified as Michelle Gumulawski of Gary, had jumped into the water at the Chicago Yacht Club from a docked boat, said members of the Chicago police’s marine unit. Police said they believe that some sort of electric current from the boat may have shocked her, causing her to drown.