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Lake Powell Electric Shock Drowning Death Lawsuit

Lake Powell Electric Shock Drowning Death Lawsuit
July 14
12:35 2015

Alec McQueen

According to a federal lawsuit, a man who died at Lake Powell last year jumped into water that was charged with electricity due to a boat that was plugged into a wrong size power outlet.

Alec McQueen, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was with two friends when they pulled into an empty slip at the Bullfrog Marina. After the boat docked and the engine was off, McQueen jumped into the lake for a swim. The friends he was with saw him go under the water and received electrical shocks when they reached into the water to try and grab him.

Two emergency personnel workers, who responded to the scene, were also shocked when they touched the water. Recovery efforts were not successful until McQueen’s body was found 113 feet below the surface, two days after the incident.

An investigation found that a boat owner, parked in the adjacent slip, had inserted a 30 amp cord into a 50 amp outlet, causing electricity to discharge into the water around it. According to the suit, the outlet’s instructions and warnings were covered in dirt and grime and were unreadable.

The boat’s owner along with Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services are named in the lawsuit by McQueen’s parents, who say both parties were negligent in allowing the water to become electrified, which caused their son’s death.  The family is seeking unspecified damages.

On February 5th, 2015 an article by Mark Suttie, the Safety and Occupational Health  Manager for Glenn Canyon Recreational Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument, detailed the causes, signs and risks of electric shock drowning or ESD. If you would like to learn more about ESD, the article is available on the National Park Services website at: www.nps.gov/glca/planyourvisit/upload/Electric-Shock-Drownings.pdf.

Swimming is prohibited in all of Lake Powell’s marinas.

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