LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. -- For the second time since July 4, stray electricity in the water killed someone last Saturday. Three people have died in the last five days. They all were electrocuted while swimming, and experts say these are completely preventable deaths.
"Electricity and water don't mix very well," said Ed Nicholson.
Nicholson is the fire marshal for Osage Beach and often inspects boat docks.
"They have water pumps, ceiling fans, light fixtures, boat lifts, radio, TVs, stereo systems wired outside."
He says you could liken many boat docks to living quarters on the water. The difference is, outside, it's often not professionally wired.
"If this trips out, it's protecting all the way from here (the shore) all the way to the dock, whereas, if they just have outlets, only that outlet is protected," Nicholson said.
It can lead to a deadly outcome: electric currents going through the water, waiting to be grounded by anything that clings on to the dock, or worse.
"What's going to electrocute you is when you grab that source of ground. Depending on where the current is coming from, you can still get electrocuted even by not grabbing anything," said Chris Bachman with the Mid-County Fire Protection District.