View Full Version : Danger to dock shooters and others

The Shootist
09-29-2012, 11:48 PM
This story was on th Nashville Tennessee news. This happened on Tims Ford lake but the same danger is on every lake with docks...We have lost 3 lives on Tims Ford in the last few years. I have limited knowledge of electricity and electrical circuits but from what I understand is that if there is a problem with the circuit and the dock is electrified and you touch the dock while grounded to the water ie alum boat you could be killed......99% of the docks that are on this lake are floating docks so they are insulated from the water......Im sure that some on this board are very knowledgeable on this subject so please add comments ...It could save someone life....The two that died in another incident were swimming and touched a dock that the ground fault had be shorted by lightening. Even though these docks are wired to code when built it only takes one lightening strike to short the GFCI and present a danger....Sorry about the cut and paste but I think this is very important....

Body found underneath dock in Franklin County
Posted: Sep 28, 2012 6:33 PM CDT

Investigators are working to determine the exact cause of death of an Alabama man whose body was found in Winchester, Tenn.

Police responded to the call on Thursday evening just before 7 p.m. when a woman reported 39-year-old William Nolan as missing.

The woman told police that Nolan, her son-in-law, was going swimming after he finished jogging. After an hour, the woman became concerned.

Investigators said the woman found Nolan's clothes on the dock but could not find him anywhere.

When authorities arrived, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency and the Franklin County Rescue Squad located Nolan's body underneath the dock. His body was then transported to Harton Medical Center in Tullahoma where he was pronounced dead.

Law enforcement personnel did discover that the house in question had been struck by lightning in the recent past. An investigation did show faulty wiring from the house to the dock causing the area to be live with electricity.

Nolan's body was transported to Nashville for an ordered autopsy by the state medical examiner to determine the specific cause of death.

09-30-2012, 10:58 AM
Thats scary!

09-30-2012, 11:37 AM
Wow that is scary especially lots of people have kids that swim around their docks and I feel sure non have thought about this as a possibility!

i too am hoping someone else adds some knowledge to this issue!



09-30-2012, 12:04 PM
The question is, "what do you need to do to make sure your dock is still protected after a storm and your not sure if any damage occurred?"

09-30-2012, 01:32 PM
Can you ground it or maybe use a lightening rod?

The Shootist
09-30-2012, 02:33 PM
I would definitely check the ground fault to make sure it is functioning correctly........I will check with an electrician and an electrical engineer at work tomorrow and see if they can make suggestions that I can post here......Im sure that these incidents dont occur too often but it only takes one......

09-30-2012, 02:51 PM
Not an expert by any means but had issues at friends metal floating dock, his daughter was feeling tingles when in water and touching dock. We found loose (totally not connected) ground wire at a splice box coming from house where GFI breaker feeding dock was located, Also found plastic junction box located at dock (covered and appeared to be sealed good) almost full of water. I think this box of water would have normally caused GFI @ house panel to trip but with ground wire not connected there was not a path back to ground so GFI could not detect any current inbalance. We dried out box at dock and re-connected ground wire and all is well. Check those junction boxes on docks for water and test the GFI at dock and panels.

The Shootist
09-30-2012, 04:23 PM
crappienapper,,,,,That could have turned into a similar situation as i posted......I dont think people realize how serious this issue is....Maybe this thread will get people thinking and looking and talking about this with people that own docks

09-30-2012, 05:07 PM
Makes me not want to swim around docks anymore

09-30-2012, 09:44 PM
There is a small gfi tester that you can buy at most any electric store, I believe they sell for about $12.00 that you can use to test them. The way a gfi works is
it measures the current flow to the load and compares it to the outlet from the load if there is a difference it trips. If nothing is plugged in and it shows a current flow
on the hot and none from the common it will trip. The gfi should always be a mounted gfi breaker inside the breaker box so as to protect all wire going to dock.
I have changed out many of these over the years and it does not always take a surge to take them out. Please check them and be safe!

10-01-2012, 08:18 PM
Electricity is the silent killer. Great thread and should be stickied.

10-01-2012, 09:12 PM
I have been considering adding lighting to my dock. After reading this thread I am now thinking about using low voltage lighting instead of 120 volt lighting. Hopefully that would avoid an accident.

The Shootist
10-01-2012, 09:56 PM
I think with proper installation and frequent inspection you should be fine....If you dont live at the lake full time I would consider cutting the power to dock when going to be gone for an extended period of time......I have seen docks that have well pumps running all the time with broken plumbing so people arent checking their docks regularly.........

10-02-2012, 05:55 AM
I'm thinking people have to be miswiring something to allow this to happen. GFCIs are extremely sensitive, and in a wet environment they can be a PITA to keep working because even a little dew can cause them to trip. People put 120V lights underwater in pools all the time with no issues. I have to wonder if people had GFCI tripping issues and instead of identifying the problem they removed them.