Child’s Electrocution Prompts Awareness

The unexpected death of a child is always a tragic event.  However, even the most terrible accidents can have a silver lining if some awareness for others is born from them.

Electrocution In A Most Unexpected Place relates the unfortunate story of the Ritz family.  Ten years ago, the family, consisting of three active children and their vigilant parents (one of whom was a nurse), were enjoying a swim in a freshwater marina.  The children were properly outfitted with safety equipment and were well-supervised.

As ten-year-old Lucas was approaching a ladder to exit the water, he gasped and rolled over onto his back, motionless in the water.  His mother pulled him out and reported feeling her extremities go numb as she entered the water downstream from the boy.

CPR was administered and Lucas was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead soon after arrival.

An investigation spearheaded by Lucas’s father, Kevin, was launched.  After examining Lucas’s body and testing the water around the marina, it was determined that Lucas was somehow electrocuted.

Kevin was determined to find out exactly how something like this could happen and began his own quest to discern the causes behind this tragedy and ensure that nothing like this would happen again.

Investigation and Changes As A Result Of The Electrocution

Kevin’s searching led him to a boat that had been running in the marina at the time of Lucas’s electrocution.  Apparently, current was forced into the water due to a tiny melt in a wire that was not properly grounded.

The current passed through the fresh water (which is a poor conductor) into Lucas’s body, electrocuting him and stopping his heart immediately.

Kevin has since developed a device, the Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter (ELCI), which will trip a breaker and sever the flow of current if a wire is not properly grounded.

The device has gained widespread use since Lucas’s unfortunate electrocution.

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