On Board with Electrical Safety
Water and electricity are two elements
that are essential in allowing us to live our day-to-day lives. However,
when the two come together, they make a deadly combination. When it comes to
boating on the open water, we should try to keep our vessels away from
electric power lines and other sources of electricity.
Water is an excellent conductor of
electricity. It is important to remember that even when you are sailing,
electricity is still trying to reach the ground below the water. The most
common occurrence in which water and electricity come into contact with each
other is when sailing vessels come into contact with power lines. By being
alert and looking up, you can save your life, as well as friends and family
When boating this summer, follow these
tips on how to avoid power lines:
Avoid contact with overhead power
lines by checking clearance before raising or lowering your mast or spar.
Keep in mind that metal spars or masts can conduct electricity.
When determining overhead
clearances, make sure to take the tide into consideration.
Overhead clearances that are adequate for your boat at low tide may
not be adequate for your boat at high tide.
Make sure to keep all drying sails
and sheet lines from blowing into power lines.
Dont haul, store, or sail your
boat unless you have at least 10 feet of clearance between the highest point
of your boat and the lowest point of all power lines. Remember that overhead
power lines exist over roads, parking lots, waterways, and boat-storage
When pulling your boat onto the
beach or when docking, always look overhead for power lines.
When removing your boat from the
water, watch out for overhead power lines. Ask another person to direct you
so that you can stay clear of all power lines by at least 10 feet.
When fishing, make sure to check for
overhead power lines before casting your line.
As you boat, be aware of signs
indicating underwater gas and electric utility lines. Make sure to not
anchor your boat near underwater cables or pipelines. At low tide,
clearances from underwater cables and pipelines could be inadequate for your