CHICAGO (CBS) — Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard and others were warning boaters along Lake Michigan and elsewhere about a hidden danger in the water.
WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports five people died in water electrocution deaths in the U.S. over the Independence Day weekend two years ago, because of electric currents leaking from boats.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Showers By Daybreak
Kevin Ritz’s 8-year-old son, Lucas, was killed instantly by 118 volts as he tried to climb aboard a dock in Portland, Oregon, in 1999.
“Here we are, doing our best, just to get awareness out there – trying to alert people – because I can tell you personally that if we had known about this, had we heard of this before, it wouldn’t have happened to us,” he said.READ MORE: Oak Lawn Woman Got Locked Out Of Her Facebook Business Account, And Even Facebook Can't Be Sure If The Email To Blame Was A Scam
Ritz was at the Columbia Yacht Club on Wednesday to help conduct a training class for first responders.
A representative for the Coast Guard said boat owners should take responsibility and make sure their water craft don’t have any ground faults in their electrical systems.MORE NEWS: They Had A Tough Year Of E-Learning, But Southland College Prep Seniors Have Now Racked Up More Than $50 Million In Combined Merit Scholarships
The Coast Guard offers free vessel safety checks. Click here to sign up.