A Portsmouth, N.H., man is seeking $500,000 in damages from the U.S. government after he says he suffered an electric shock from faulty wiring while cleaning the bottom of a sailboat docked at a pier at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.
According to a New Hampshire Union Leader report, Joel St. Jean, who is in his mid-20s, was working for a commercial diving company cleaning the underside of a privately owned 36-ft Catalina sailboat in the Piscataqua River. The sailboat was attached to shore electrical power supplied by the marina. St. Jean says the government negligently failed to maintain, inspect, and/or otherwise keep a safe electrical supply for vessels in the marina and, as a result of its negligence, he was shocked.
He was found floating in the water, unconscious, with the scuba regulator in his mouth. As a result of his injury, he said he experiences several symptoms such as prolonged headaches, memory loss, and fatigue.
The government denies each allegation in the suit, according to the report. The government asserts that if St. Jean was injured — which it is not admitting to — those injuries could be the result of his own negligence, either in whole or in part.