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Sensor aims to curb hidden danger near Kentucky, Tennessee docks

(WZTV)

You can't see it, hear it, or smell it- but leaders in Kentucky are warning people about electric shock drownings.

The big concern is for those swimming around docks and marinas.

Electric shock drownings happen when faulty wiring, equipment or damaged cords energize the water. The current can be strong enough to paralyze a swimmer.

Tennessee docks have signs asking people not to swim within 100 yards of the boat dock. Doing so is against state law.

“You're not supposed to be swimming around marinas due to electric shock from the marinas getting electricity to the boats the stores and the restaurants,” said Dustin Buttram, a wildlife officer with the TWRA.

Not everyone follows that rule, or is even aware of this deadly danger.

That's where Dave Hotz got the idea for his Dock Lifeguard.

“We can monitor the dock frame, the wiring coming down onto the dock, and the water around the dock to make sure there's no stray electricity around,” Hotz said.

The Dock Lifeguard attaches to your dock and acts as a constant voltage meter; sending a siren when there's a change in the energy in the water and alerting people on land to keep people out.

“It's designed to be mounted on your dock and left on continuously, because what you want to be able to do is monitor for hazardous electricity whether you're there or not,” Hotz said.

The cost of a dock lifeguard is almost $1000.

Regardless, it's always a good idea to just follow the law and stay out of the water.

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