PUT-IN-BAY, OH (WTOL) - It was a heartbreaking Father's Day weekend for an Ohio family. A 19-year-old was electrocuted while trying to save the family pet at Miller Marina last Friday. It's the first electric-shock drowning ever reported in the state of Ohio.
"I came out of it, and one last struggle to the surface and he yelled, 'electricity,'" said Jeff Currie as he recalls what happened.
He and his two sons jumped in the water to help save the family dog.
"The second my toe hit the water jumping in, I knew there was current," said Currie. "I felt like I was hit with stun gun."
Currie's wife pulled the boat's cord from the shore power, and the current stopped. Jeff and one of his sons managed to make it safely to shore, but Evan Currie was unresponsive when he was pulled from the water.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) brought in an electrician who inspected the dock to find everything in working order.
"We actually got the family's boat and brought it back to the dock itself to try to plug it back in and recreate the scenario. Try to see where the current was coming from. That just happened yesterday, so those results, we haven't gotten those yet," said Eric Heis, the Public Information Officer for the Department,
The DNR expects to have the report in the next couple of days. Because this is the first case of its kind in Ohio, DNR doesn't have a precedent for the investigation to go by.
The Electrical Shock Drowning Prevention Association said there are some things you can do to protect yourself.
First, don't swim in or near a marina, boatyard or dock. Also, boat owners should have their boats inspected by an electrician with a current ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) Electrical Certification or by an ABYC Certified Technician.
Talking to marina owners about installing GFCI's, also called a Ground Fault Interrupter is also an option. A GFCI is a device that shuts off an electric power circuit when it detects that current is flowing along an unintended path, such as through water or a person.