Always remember that electricity and water don’t mix. When electric current makes contact with water, which is a conductor, it has the potential to travel great distances. In Texas, power lines exist over many lakes and streams. They are high enough that, under normal conditions, boats can pass under them safely. But safety awareness is always important when you are in the area of water and electricity.
- Keep a safe distance from power lines, and stay aware of what is around you and in the water and above it.
- Water can rise, especially after storms. Keep a close watch on water levels, especially in areas near power lines.
- Look up, down, and all around you while on boat ramps and in marinas. Take note and avoid overhead power lines during launch, docking, and all times in between.
- If you see a low-hanging power line, stay away, and call 911.
- Sailboat masts conduct electricity, so be aware of your mast height.
- If your boat or mast touches a power line, stay in the boat, and wait for help.
- Make sure any electrical equipment used in or near water is in good working condition. If you feel a tingling sensation while in the water, it might be electrified. Get out of the water as quickly as you can, avoiding metal ladders. Use marine cords, plugs, and receptacles.
- Avoid swimming near docks or marinas where electricity is used.